But it didn't matter how many years we spent apart. We could always pick up the thread of any conversation from wherever it was once left off. I could notice his light Marathi accent has for some time now been replaced with a light San Franciscan lilt. He still rolls his 'r's the same way though. And taps the 't's.
Yesterday, he seemed to be in a mildly contemplative mood which was thoroughly uncharacteristic of him. I wondered what was on his mind.
"Do you remember a day when you were wholly entirely completely happy?" he asked suddenly.
"Yeah, I've had many days like that." I couldn't help smiling. It wasn't every day my pragmatic brother asked me questions like this one.
"Recently?" he queried, slightly disbelieving.
"Yes, and inspite of internship." I said confidently.
"Right." he said somewhat dreamily. "I was thinking more of the past. Of the time when we were children."
"What about it?" I tried to guess at what he was thinking of, maybe it was some memory he thought I shared. Or it was just an abstract thought that caught his fancy one day.
"Just that, you know, back then. Time. Somehow, there was more of it."
I chuckled at that. "Of childhood summers when days were short and afternoons endless." I said paraphrasing a half-remembered but much-loved quote.
"There are some things that drift away like our endless, numbered days." He quoted back to me.
"What's that now? Could it be nostalgia?" I had to tease him.
"Yes, exactly." he laughed good-naturedly. "So what have you been doing these days apart from studying?" he asked and I realised the nostalgic dreamer was gone.
I wondered if it was one of those threads he'd pick up in a future conversation. But for now, the old familiar realist was back.