A relative was heard mentioning that her niece (what do you call your husband’s brother’s daughter? – can it be niece-in-law? :D) had chosen to bunch her babies (http://www.babybunching.com/); since she hadn’t particularly enjoyed having a sister five years younger. Apparently she feels – siblings born just a few years apart would share and enjoy the joys of growing up together.
My immediate reaction was – of course not, that needn’t be true!! At least it wasn’t, in my case – not withstanding the age difference of five and a half years, me and my sis are as thick as thieves. We took turns at being squabbling siblings and best buddies – there were tantrums and fierce fights but they were always accompanied teary re-unions and ready silly jokes to keep us in splits. I, of course, have not lost a single chance of proving myself to be the bossy elder sister but at the end of the day we’re like two chums who share several similar interests and passions.
My earliest memory is of a hazy afternoon when someone – probably my granny, was asking me the usual question that the elders conveniently use, to torture the first child at home – do you want a baby brother or a sister?! (As if asking us is gonna make any difference!!) Nevertheless, I remember being quite emphatic about wanting a sister, with the usual supporting argument of being assured of a companion to play. I have vague memories of this cherubic almost-bald-at-birth little baby-girl being born and brought into the household and how she grew up into a happy, ever-smiling toddler bringing sunshine into our family. The later memories remind me of being the chosen one to escort her home from the crèche that she attended, after school hours – preening with the responsibility of being her care-taker, till my parents got home from work.
While still young we shifted homes; the memories thereafter are of school – of riding pillion with our dad and uncles; and in later years of walking back together with friends and their siblings. I guess it helped that we grew up together, going to the same school – we studied, played and kept close. I took my elder sister role seriously while she always looked up to me for advice and help. I don’t know when exactly the lines blurred and we turned from siblings into friends.
I must say, it been rather hard on the poor thing – being in the same school as an elder sibling is no fun – you get tagged as being X’s sis/ bro and get to face some unfair comparisons from teachers and parents alike. She had her task cut-out, having a particularly studious creature as kin, the expectations were naturally high. The same was the case at home – often unjust parallels being drawn and pre-determined anticipation hoisted on her. Though she had my unstinted support at most times, I am sure it wasn’t easy always being asked to fill into someone else’s shoes. Of course, it didn’t help that she was lazy on some counts, preferring to take it easy, which is probably what got my parents’ goat, to begin with. All said and done, I never for once sensed any vibes of resentment or discontent wafting from her in my direction – all that lingered was the almost freshly-soaped-and-powdered-baby-like fragrance of sisterly love and devotion.
We’re a strange sort, we are! – as my husband and parents will readily vouch, we can be nuttiness personified – we speak in a funny, strange language decipherable only to us, we break into fits of giggles for seemingly no reasons, we communicate through some unfathomable signals of eyes and expressions, we take turns at behaving like 10 year old kids calling ourselves twin-paapas, to gossipy aunties, to age-old grannies doling out unsought-for advice (especially to our mom! :D) – our quirks are many and un-ending. It is a strange yet beautiful relationship that we share – she’s the one with whom I know I can be uninhibitedly ‘me’ and I’m the one she counts on, on most occasions.
Of late, she’s into these nagging sessions – of how she doesn’t get to see enough of me and how I don’t pay her attention like I used to before. Another recent complaint has been that I haven’t even been updating this space.
So here it is – this long overdue post – all dedicated to the best-est and the only sibling that I’ve ever had – my darling sis! 🙂