On Siblings

Siblings are people born to the same parents.

I remember my mother talking of two of her cousins, when they were young they would for every be playing chor-police and then it would end in a fight Dewar style, my mother’s irate aunt yelled can’t you do role play about brothers, the boys immediately obeyed and decided to play Vali- Sugriva.  It is kind of sometimes you love them sometimes you hate them scenario.

The intricate tangle of love, duty and resentment that ties the siblings’ together is amazing. The glances exchanged the complicated balance these were having established over decades. The rules of the game played are something that someone who does not belong to sibling circle may find it kind of difficult to understand.  Maybe that is the key, I mean this is a natural group it makes others feel remarkably singular in comparison. Over twenty years now has shifted out of the country and we have drifted, when I see other siblings it brings home the I’m missing.

Yes he does drop in once in every two years, but between visiting his in-laws, the numerous puja’s sight-seeing and shopping on his side and my work and family commitments on my side it we probably meet for half a day.

I hear this very commonly expressed and rather romantic notion of “Rakhi-brother/sister” let’s get real; the fact is we might be better served to accept that we are all siblings. After all siblings fight pulls each other’s hair, steal stuff and accuse each other indiscriminately. But siblings do know the undeniable fact that they are the same blood, with same origins and are family, even when they hate each other that put a lot of things into perspective.

Probably just as famous as the sibling bonding is the it’s sibling the sibling rivalry happens due to the toxicity created by parents comparing one sibling unfavourably with another, the target child feels he’s not doing enough to gain parental affection. This motivates the child to do whatever the parents want to regain their favour, this divide and conquer technique is often unleashed against children who become a little too independent threatening the balance of the family system.

Despite rivalry most siblings have this acceptance…he/she is my sibling…my blood, she/he annoys the hell out of me, most of the time but when it comes right down to it I want see him/her graduate from college and have a little annoying mini-Ram’s and mini-Seeta’s running around in the future. When I look at my mother and her siblings I realize that sibling relationships outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship, they flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust.

Certainly people do get along without siblings, single children do and there are people who irreparably with their siblings who live full and satisfying lives, yet to have siblings and not make the most of that resource is squandering one the greatest interpersonal resources one could ever have. Between you and me siblings that say they never fight well, are definitely hiding something.

“We Love, We Fight!
We feel Proud, We envy!
We Support, We Differ!
But whenever someone else tries to talk against anyone, we are always together.
And whenever we have any reason to celebrate, we are together.
Yes, we are siblings!”
― Pankaj Gupta

 

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