Family Matters

I don’t write too many posts about family. Maybe I find it hard to be mushy
here when I know what a pain-in-the-ass I can be to them in real life.. that
would be just wrong. Or maybe it is that I have a small little shadow of a
tragic Meena Kumari hidden in me, that loves to see and remember only the weird
parts of my childhood.. and trust me, they’re not all that blogworthy. Not that
the family knows about this blog anyway.

I like to think that through my childhood and teenage years, I oscillated violently
between being painfully shy with some people and insufferably sarcastic with
others. As a result, I was juggling those two personalities so often that I
hardly ever found time to be.. I don’t know.. normal! And if there was someone
who could disarm me and see me for who I was.. not to mention, completely
blackmail me.. it was my kid brother. Two and a half years apart in age, we
grew up friends.. or maybe, frenemies is the right term? πŸ˜€ I don’t know how
that could have happened, since through most of my growing up years, I
considered younger people to be creatures we were either supposed to be polite
to or to be dismissed high-handedly. Yet, right under my nose, someone younger
dared to not just treat me like their equal but sometimes, even bordered on
serious irreverence. Needless to say, there were many healthy arguments, some
unhealthy hair-pulling sessions and a few unthinkably rude things we did to
each other (slap marathons, anyone?).

And still, through the ups and downs of my life, I feel he is the one reason
I’ve stayed out of therapy. No, it’s not a support thing, it’s about seeing
life (and not just life in general, but exactly your life) through someone
else’s eyes and finding that it’s not so bad. For instance, every time my
parents fought when I was little, I was worried that there was going to be a
divorce and then who will I go and live with, and most importantly, WE DIDN’T
KNOW ANY LAWYERS! It really was the stuff of nightmares but I wouldn’t allow
myself to say it aloud to anybody. And then, a day before my parents 13th or
14th anniversary, my brother and I sat in our room wondering what gift/(s) to
buy them with a grand total of some 500 or 600 bucks. While we were still
arguing about getting some random picture blown up and framed or buying them
movie tickets, we heard them fighting about something trivial. I could feel the
knot turning in my stomach, when my brother – all of 10 years – remarked,
“I guess we don’t have to buy them anything anymore.” What might seem
like a sad or preposterous comment by someone that young (and I did act
suitably appalled at the time), made me see the humour in my compulsive fear
for the first time. Over the years, he has been the one person I could trust
with getting the most honest opinion including things like “make-up can
hide ONLY so much” and “you’re not obese. yet. give it time.”

It’s hard to appreciate things he says, but I think he knows he can be so
ill-mannered around only me. And in that one way, I am special (not that anyone
is aspiring to take my post soon). So yes, when parents of a young child worry
about getting a sibling for their little one, I understand their concern.
Because surely, that’s a more viable way of keeping the elder off the shrink’s
couch than any other I know πŸ˜€

I know that this is a rather weird post for a festive occasion, but here’s
wishing Mr. Maajra (insipid nickname based on a stupid story, because I refuse
to grow up) a very happy Raksha Bandhan that brings you all the good things.
Hopefully, some grey matter as bonus too.





6 thoughts on “Family Matters

  1. My baby sister’s birthday today and I am feeling all mushy already. And now this! πŸ™‚ Mr Maini (right?). bless you for keeping the big sis sane πŸ™‚

  2. Hey, visited your blog for the first time. Firstly, I loved your blog name and the template!

    Coming to the post, I absolutely loved it! I too have a bro 2 yrs younger to me, and I could totally identify with everything you’ve written here. Even those small fights we had were real stress busters. Now that I am so far away from my family, I really miss everything about him a lot. Even now, he is the one who keeps me off the shrink, when it needs to. Loved the way you’ve penned it down. Keep writing!

  3. This was lovely! And yes, I remember cowering with my sister when my parents fought. And my kids did the same. I guess we’ve all survived, reasonably sane. But a sibling is good to have for those awful times and the good family times as well.

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