Siblings are special people. They’re who you share your parents with. They’re who you share a lifetime’s worth of memories with–of childhood and upbringing, of the little rituals and traditions that make every household unique, of quarrels and sulks, and of dinnertime jokes and banter. They share with you a substantial part of your value system and beliefs. They also share with you the tacit knowledge of those skeletons that lurk in every family’s cupboard.
When I look back, I see my relationship with my brother in three distinct, staccato phases. I was about four when he was born, and I remember feeling absolutely delighted and being so possessive of him that I would refuse to let visitors touch him or coo at him too much 🙂
The next phase was when I couldn’t stand him and his impish ways one bit. I thought of him as a nuisance, an enfant terrible who was always out to embarrass me in front of my friends, someone who always put a spoke in the wheel of all my plans deliberately or unwittingly. We fought like wildcats, often coming to blows when our parents were not around. Our freestyle wrestling matches would go on for quite some time until someone arrived on the scene to save one from the other. It was fortunate that neither of us got really hurt in any of those bouts.
I don’t remember the last time we fought like that, though–I have no idea how the second phase gave way to the third and final phase, how he suddenly transformed from being a thorn in the side to my very best friend and how sibling rivalry changed into sibling revelry. All I know is that suddenly we began to talk–and giggle and gossip– a lot. I found I could confide in him about my sundry problems and stuff –because he no longer tattled 😀
Over the years I benefited from his wisdom, pragmatism and honest advice. I was constantly surprised at how level-headed he was– I was older in years but somewhere along the line I began to get the feeling that he was wiser. His wit and humour helped me sail through a couple of difficult years.
When he went away to another city for higher studies, I felt terribly lonely. We wrote to each other very frequently( pre-internet days!). I am sure he was–still is– closer to me than to our parents–the same was certainly true for me too.
We are, I am happy to say, still as close as we used to be. He continues to be a source of support and encouragement. He also continues to be a wonderful sounding board. We still talk a lot –and laugh a lot while doing all the talking 🙂
Siblings are a blessing. I have certainly always seen my brother as a blessing. When I am counting my blessings, he figures prominently in the list.