I grew up with an elder brother which affected me more than anything else that I can think of. Now, I don’t know how my life would have turned out had I been a single child or had an elder sister or was the elder child myself. But I sense things wouldn’t have been any better. Firstly, you are pampered when you are the younger child and I was pampered. Secondly, everything about me is either directly or indirectly influenced by him. No, scratch that, everything good or interesting about me comes from him. He introduced me to everything that was good about the time we were growing up – Cartoon Cartoons, Nickelodeon, Terminator 2 – The Judgement Day, travel shows, comic books, Linkin Park, Pokemon, Harry Potter. The whole of the popular culture that’s nerdy. No complaints.
As a kid, I harbored a strong sense of sibling jealousy. Mostly because I am a jealous person and partly because he was the golden boy. With siblings it’s never all smooth ever, the starting is always rough. Kids are selfish by nature, and putting a second child in the picture tends to bring about a lot of chaos. And it was very chaotic. Quarreling, beating, biting, ripping his books, pulling my hair, complaining to mum. Destroying everything he has, reading his diaries. Him not sharing anything in return. Not talking for days. He taking away a huge chunk of anything that’s delicious on my plate. I crying for anything he has and when he gives that up, losing interest in it. Making a fit over whose school is better. Him punching my nose and almost breaking it.
It was terrible and kind of fun too.
But deep down I wanted to be him. Do everything he does and the way he does it. He was what I looked up to. He taught me how to draw, and I still remember he showed me two different ways of drawing grasses and he taught me how to color neatly and inside the lines. When I read his diaries, I thought it was so cool to keep a diary and I wanted to do that. So, indirectly inspiring me to write. His compliments meant the world to me. But during my middle school years, there was this gap where we found each other excessively annoying and would break into a fight for almost anything. We barely talked during the time. But somehow, in my junior year of high school we connected again. I don’t remember exactly when and how, we opened to each other about relationships, the opposite gender and he gave me a 101 on sex. And I have been open about everything to him ever since. Be it any problem I face with my family, at college, with friends and with basic handling of life. It’s nice to know that whatever a fuck up of a situation I have at hand, I have someone to talk it out with someone who is not a total dunce. And doesn’t charge me 5 grand per session. His compliments mean a lot more than the world to me now.
So, here’s to siblings. They know us better and understand us better because they know where we are coming from. The bond of blood is rather strong so no matter what, you can always fall back on it and they are there reminding you of the safety of home. And they will be there when you need to leave home too.