When brothers grow up, life can be very interesting. When you have a brother in your life, you don’t need any other pet in the world, you already live as if you are in the zoo or a farm with a buffalo, a bull, a horse, a sheep and even a sheepdog. You have absolutely no need of having a pet cat or a dog, crazy brothers fulfill that category perfectly. Trust me I had two, and we were the craziest 4 siblings you can imagine. Everyday something very comic would happen from buckets of water being thrown on a sleeping siblings, to racing all around the house, and fighting severely over toys, burning old newspapers to make a bonfire and experimenting with colourful insects, and trying to make ink from Acacia flowers. We had it ALL!
We had tiny water balloons which we would throw at windows in the streets, regular detours to the candy shop and regular detours to unknown alleys every other day. My oldest brother and sister ate so many candies that their teeth decayed severely but the sweets kept going. We are a tight knit lot watching 80’s content on the television in 1993 and all four of us would be crazy knight rider and star wars fans. My oldest bro would boil some spaghetti and open a jar of sauce mix it in and give it to us. It was heaven. I never remember even thinking about my mom. I was a chubby 4 year old happily under the care of my oldest brother.
The magnum opus was finding my brother holding a pestle and running after my older brother who was laughing frantically. Next moment what I see is my older brother sitting on top on the shoulders of my brother who was holding the pestle and was wobbling whilst precariously my older brother clung on his shoulders.
Ah my childhood is full of such energetic ridiculous circus stories of siblings. I’ll never forget the day my brother and sister were splashing in the heavy monsoon rain thumping on the puddles of the terrace stairs.
I would play badminton for 4 hours daily with my sister and cricket with my brothers. Life was ideal. The long lazy summer days were spent well in games and play all day long. My older brother even brought a table tennis for us to play. He taught me so much. He taught me how to be the naughtiest devil whilst having the kindest heart. My other brother would be making animated cartoons on his thick little pad and turning all the pages to show his characters in motion. He used to make dragons and boats and frogs out of paper by origami. We had the commadore 64 to enjoy Terminator 2 during the initial pixelated games.
As we grew up slowly life pushed us apart. School and tough studies robbed us from one another. I remember not interacting with my brother for 4 years. When he would leave the house, I would wake up and go to school, he would come back early and go for private tuition then I would come back from school and go to tuition, he would return before me and go to bed and I’d come a bit later. Tough studies somehow made us hard and bitter in our own worlds. As teenagers we got moody and uninterested in each other. We didn’t remain close.
As adulthood creeped in a we stepped in the threshold of career life we had already started to develop distinct personalities from one another. We 4 were all so apart and unique from one another. Difference of opinion became arguments and ignoring each other started to become the norm. Each word became criticism, taunt and repulse, there was mutual disapproval for everything everyone done or chose.
I wish we could bond the way we did as children. How pure innocent and forgiving children can be. We have such huge egos, judgmental attitudes and apprehensions that we forget how close we can be if we shed it all off and think from our inner child’s perspective. In this modern culture of My Life Ma Rules, YOLO, personal space and boundaries have we built the boundary so high with bricks and made it a permanent wall? Has the pressure of personal hardwork and success “getting on your own two feet” pushed us into not even being able to ask and give help from our closest relatives on the face of the earth. Lucky were the people of the old days when times were difficult and family had to stick so close together to plough the fields grow the crops and then finally be able to put food on the table. They had no choice but to lean on each other.
The hypersexualization of media doesn’t portray family other than a man and a woman falling in love. Siblings have taken a back seat and shown to be an unwanted annoyance. Brothers and sisters’ interconnectivity and interaction is limited to the overbearing older sibling or the young irresponsible “baby” sibling. Parents have been limited to being irresponsible and abandoned by their kids in old age. The truth however is that in adult life you need your family more than ever. I have noticed people with a strong tight knit family who are close to their siblings perform better at work, are far more stress free, and can handle the tribulations of life far better than others.
We talk about acceptance of people of colour. How can we accept other people when we can’t even accept our siblings? Siblings come in all sizes and colours too, some a few shades lighter and some a few shades darker, with such different personalities. Acceptance starts from home. We can rebuild bridges and we do it by accepting each other’s personality exactly how they are no matter how much we disapprove of it. Letting others live is so important when it comes to home and family and must start from there. If your younger sister is irresponsible and parties with friends all the time : Let Her! She has a lot of every and needs to exert it somewhere. Let your older brother drive like crazy all around the deserts of the world, he loves to travel, he craves adventure! If your sister doesn’t socialize let her! She is an introvert she loves being alone and quiet with a good book. It is our constant need for changing others that causes unacceptance and racism. We try to force people into a code that they are not comfortable with. We force people to dress the same as ourselves when they are perfectly happy in their own native dress and culture. The trick is to not forcibly change others and not enforce any kind of change on them. We tend to want to change others instead of ourselves which causes all the friction. If we give up the urge to change others and even expecting them to change we can end intolerance forever. The problem is it takes courage, you need to make your heart bigger and put in effort to change your point of view instead of the other person’s personality.
If we heal our relationship with our siblings we can heal the entire world and accept anyone from anywhere. Parents do not live with your throughout your adulthood and children are born when half your life is already over. The true unit of family which stays with you from your birth to your death are your siblings. They witness your entire lives from childhood to old age.
Don’t wait for a special day to come. Pick up the phone and go ahead and call your sibling. He and she are probably as apprehensive as you are.
What are your stories of your siblings how you made up or broke up? How is your relationship going? Share in the comments for us all to learn and reflect on.