Dear Sriniketh anna,

Over the past 17 years, I've always idolized you. I may not always tell you that but I have always looked up to you. There are too many home videos to prove that I quite literally followed you around and tried to do everything that you did. You were in high school first, you got to drive first, you went to prom first, and now, you are graduating high school first. I was always so jealous of you because you got to do all these things first. Only this time, I'm not jealous; this time, I am thankful. I'm thankful I've had such an amazing role model as an older brother. Sure, we aren't actual siblings, but I think it's safe to say that with everything we've been through, you are the older brother in my life - an older brother who goes out of his way to help others; an older brother who takes advantage of the opportunities given to him; an older brother who makes others laugh with his dumb jokes; and most of all , an older brother who has shown me that you have to work for what you want because things don't get handed to you in life (most of the time).

Thank you for teaching me so many lessons over the past 17 years. Thank you for making me realize that we don't always get what we want, that we have to choose our battles wisely, that we should always do the right thing even when we think no one is watching us and that life isn't always about me. I've watched you grow up so much over the years, learning from some of your mistakes, but also learning from your successes.

It seems like just yesterday we were playing with our toy dogs walking around the apartment. When we used to go out in public and you would hold my hand telling me to be careful and to not talk with anyone else and just keep walking. It seems like just yesterday we were both fighting because you said you would rather go hang out with your friends than with me and everyone else. It seems like just yesterday that it was hard to believe we would be adults someday, but now "someday" is just around the corner.

I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished in these past years. It has been my pleasure to be known as "Sriniketh's cousin" to your friends. As you enter a new chapter of your life, I am so excited to see what you are going to do. Thank you for paving a path for the rest of us to follow. I know you might think this whole thing is not that big of a deal and that you're gonna visit as much as you can (you better) but, I'm gonna miss having someone to talk to, rant to, and who I can always count on no matter what. Congratulations on your graduation and here's to many many more years with your little sister always looking up to you.

With Love,

Srinidhi