I am often quoted mentioning one aspect of my childhood that makes for the very DNA of who I am today. And that is that my younger sister and I grew up in a typical middle class household where we never faced any paucity of resources that were required for our growth and learning, yet there never ever wa a penny extra for any kind of splurging. Yet we had a fun filled childhood, with frequent weekend road trips to nearby getaways from Chandigarh, hours of cycling within our gated society and eons of hours spent playing indoor board games. And one person who has remained constant and played a vital role in maing my life fun-filled and worth remembering is my younger sister, Supriya.
As I reflect on my life today, I release that her role in shaping me up has been beyond the bouts of fun and fights that we lived through in our early life. So here’s an ode to my little sister, who I think has played a vital role in shaping me into who I am today –
Makes Me Be Better At Myself
I am five years older than my younger sister. Ever since she was born, the general social thread around me kept me extremely aware of the fact how I was supposed to act all responsible all the times. I was ‘Big’ the moment my younger sister was born. And I took my role as the elder sister a tad too seriously, and became my mom’s right hand when it came to taking care of her. I would baby sit her as my mom went around doing the home chores. Once school started, I would wake up at the drop of the alarm bell that had been installed in ‘Our Room’, wake my sister up, help her through the morning ablutions and get her up and ready along with me while ‘Mamma’ got our breakfast and lunch boxes ready.
That was during the very initial years. Later in our life, it turned out that my sister had much better planning skills and never struggled with completing her homework, setting up her bag according to her time-table, working on her projects etc. I was always a fire-fighter (like even today – its 4.30 a.m. in the morning and I am typing my way through glory to get this post up within the day). Her skills at time-management started growing up on me and as a teenager I began to observe her closely on how she went about her day. Many years later she mentioned that the way she saw me always struggling to reach the finish line, she did all those things the exact opposite and sailed through. I still have a frown on my face, when I see her snorting face while she made this confession.
Turned Me into a Story Teller
I guess the ‘keeda’ for telling stories got into me while I was baby-sitting my kid sister. Coming to reflect on our childhood, I now remember that I would keep my little sister engaged by re-telling her all the stories, I learnt at school. As we grew up, the story telling sessions went a step ahead and I would narrate to her movies with dialogues verbatim. As ridiculous as it may sound now, I must have retold her certain (Salman Khan starrer) movie script with dialogues atleast a dozen of times. While we lay on the terrace of our paternal grandparents home, gazing at the star lit night sky, that was our favorite time pass.
Not to forget that horrendous phase of my life when I had my first heart break (thinking about it now only makes my laugh in ridicule at myself, but back then when I was still only twenty, and in reality it was only a crush on a friend, which I took way too seriously). I didn’t really know what to do with my bleeding heart, because obviously my parents had no idea and I’d rather keep it that way. So I turned into a philosopher and story teller, speaking out my hurt through stories about myself (with changed names ofcourse) and no awards to guess who was at the receiving end of these torturous story telling sessions.
My gateway to fun in Life
As the elder sibling, I was usually expected to act all responsible (what is it with our social thread anyway!). And I had a tough time, finding myself because even today expectations from near and dear ones generally weigh heavy on my conscience. But it was my sister, who often pulled me out of the dungeons by playing her ‘Make thy sister guilty’ card for not spending enough time with her. While I struggled with my homework, she would just play a song and demand that we dance on it. Playing antakshari was almost a regular affair at the bed, because she had a problem falling asleep.
Till the time, I was at home (i.e. the first 22 years of my life) even during graduation, I was not allowed to go out for movies with friends (perks of having two disciplinarians for parents). My only escape was my younger sister. We were both allowed to go out for movies only with each other.
On other occasions, she would simply shut the door to our room and play some loud music so that we could dance to the latest peppy songs freely away from the scrutinizing eyes of our parents. I think those were the most carefree and fun moments in my life.
Turned Me Into A Braveheart
In one particular situation (ok, a pressing matter relating to my younger sister’s marriage) all we four members of our family were at loggerheads with each other. My sister wanted to marry a guy of her choice and my parents (specifically my father) were likely to go ballistic at the prospect. And I seriously didn’t want my father to be upset. After initial spiteful conversations with my sister, I realised that she was not going to change her mind. Having understood that, I made up my mind in her favor and for the first time in my life, I was standing face-to-face with my father trying to reason out with him and look at the larger picture (the one that projected his daughter’s happiness). Although many factors played cupid, but I remain proud of the stand I finally took and the role I played in convincing my parents to turn their decision in my sister’s favor.
Gave Me The Courage To Dream
I must say that I am really lucky to have an extremely balanced person with her feet on the ground as my sister. Yet my younger sister is the one who propels my risk taking abilities and pushes me to pursue my dreams. Had it not been for her, I would never be writing so much, after I left my job. Her encouragement went ahead so far so as to push me into writing a 60k word story. And once I had written it, and was contemplating about what to do with it, it was only for her that I got it evaluated by a couple of people to seek feedback and go ahead with my decision to publish it. While this will happen soon, I also realize that had it not been for my younger sister, I would never have the courage to come out in the public with my work.
Siblings are for Keeps
Due to the age difference, my sister and I have always been in different phases of our lives. When she came to primary school, I had already moved to senior school. When she came to senior school, I was already preparing to go to college. She was still completing her studies, when I had moved away from home. Similarly later in life, when she got married, I was already a mother. I feel that we have always been distanced by this difference in the phase of our life that we were dealing with. Yet, now that we are both over our 30s, life seems to be bringing us back together, and despite the distance and age difference my sister is the awesomest Massi that my kids could get and the first person I fall back on for any help or advise that I need to deal with the crises in my life.
I thank Nehal Roy who blogs at , for introducing me. Also, I would like to introduce the next blogger of #SiblingStories Nimmi Joseph, whose blog is . I am sure you will like the sibling tales they have shared.
#SiblingStories Blog Train is hosted by Ila Varma and sponsored by the brand Ang-tatva. 32 other esteemed bloggers from blogging fraternity have joined hands to participate in the Blog train for #SiblingTalk taking a trip down memory lane and reliving the bitter-sweet moments spent with their siblings.
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