Monday, April 20, 2009

Smelly socks and braces...

raksha-bandhanSiblings are the training ground for later relationships. This is one relation where two opposites(more often than not) face each other every day. They are forced to share stuff starting from books to clothes, a room to a computer, from TV time to Mommy time and worst of all wardrobe space. Its an open battlefield, with different skills of warfare practiced with elan. From needlings to blows, from boxing to tears, manipulations, negotiations and various degrees of complaints. It is also a bond that helps you weather all the battles life throws at you later.

My best friend's younger sister is getting married and he is going through the usual tensions and logistical issues that an elder brother has to go through. The arrangements, the invitations, the caterers, the venue, the conveyance, you name it. In between all these masculine tasks, he also has made an appointment for his sister at the best parlour in town. Has ordered loads of her favourite flowers for the D-day and many such small and easily sidestepped tasks are being taken care of. On asking why are you doing it all? Isn't there anyone to share the load? A simple answer follows - "Who else, shes my sister."

This is a relationship that is full of contrasts. You want the best for each other at the same time you want to be better than each other. You don't agree on most things, you play cruel pranks, you are possessive and yet can't stand each other for more than a few minutes. It usually takes a third party to bring out the fondness in this relationship. An outsider always comes along to bring to surface the undercurrents of love. Like the 'to be husband' of my friend's sister, in this case.

As kids you may fight tooth and nail about petty things, but the scene changes the moment another kid hits or snubs your sibling. The neighbourhood at such times gets a glimpse of the underlying affection and the protective bonding of this relation. My kids fight all the time, about everything under the sun, and inspite of knowing that this phase shall pass, I can't help getting mad and upset over these endless squabbles. Then I see my friend and his sister and I know, just why the fights are important, this is probably the only place we have where we can be what we are without apologies. Each of us needs a place like that, we also need a person to shout at, to express without fear our anger, to be vocal, to speak our mind without fearing the death of the relationship. As a single child, I have never had this privilege, to this day, a fight terrorizes me, makes me shy away from confrontations.

This bond unlike a romantic alliance, never becomes a weakness, it is always the strength. Where else in the world can you press your smelly socks to a nose, get beaten black and blue and still remain confident that nothings ever gonna change...

This one is for my best friend and his sister!!