The partner in crime. The eternal rival. The best friend.

It’s a special bond that one shares with a sibling. There are some things that only brothers and sisters understand, from childhood to those tough transitional years, and throughout the highs and lows of being an adult. Be it to have someone to look up to or someone to torture (:p), it’s like you are in your own special secret society. They’ll be the only ones to make you laugh and the only one who’s advice you’ll listen to. At the end of the day, you always know they will be waiting with that warm familiar smile (and perhaps a prank or two 🙂 )

Being the younger one in the family, even my earliest memories seem to include my older sister. Fighting over the most trivial of things, learning not to do stupid things. Right up to now where she’s the first one who I would turn to for advice with regards to most things. Though she lives in another country, we still know the ins and outs of each other’s daily life.

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I thought instead of listing out merits and demerits of having/being a younger/older sibling, it would be cool to have a look at the three phases of a sibling relationship

The Tom and Jerry Phase :

Ah the first phase… Such feels… Much nostalgia….

Toddlers together, the house is rife with mischief. Mostly directed towards the other. My sister seemed like an eternal rival with a never-ending salvo of tit for tat exchanges. I’m pretty sure mom spent more than half her time clearing up “He said this”, “She did this” arguments.I distinctly remember being told off repeatedly by my sister for colouring outside the lines in those old picture books. At times things do get heated but after a day or two it’s back to square one. Just like Tom would’ve been nothing without his buddy Jerry, it was my first experience with the fact that a sibling bond is forever. Whatever happens can be sorted out. And the best memories from childhood are me and my sister working together to get stuff done, like convincing parents to take us out on a trip or covering up each other’s mess.

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The Teacher – Student Phase :

I don’t know if this was the case for everyone, but I learnt a lot from my sister. Right from when I was 4 or 5, learning to read and write, she has always been a teacher. Right through elementary school and even high school to an extent, more than teaching the lessons themselves, it’s really helpful to have a perspective on how to study what. Your parents can teach you the content matter itself but they studied them a long time ago. A sibling who went through the exact same course material a short while ago is better placed to give you the little tips and tricks to push your grades and marks up. I guess this happened more for me because both my parents work so the only one at home is my sister. Now a short anecdote on textbooks. In high school, instead of the school providing textbooks directly, we had to go out and purchase standard NCERT copies. Initially, in true younger sibling style I ensured that I got new books for myself. But seeing the tattered condition of the new books, I reverted back to her old books in some subjects. And my awesome sister had made little side notes in each lesson, adding additional information for easier understanding and so on. I’ve been using her old stuff ever since.

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The Ross and Monica Phase : (Crazy Geller dimension anyone :p)

This really hit me only when I came to college i.e. after both my sis and I had left home. Monica says to Ross, that they were just siblings while growing up, but as the years passed they had become best friends. This is completely true and I actually witnessed the change first hand. You can see how the conversation shifts from winding each other up to real issues. Trust is built and it is often much easier to talk to a sibling than to one’s parents about certain issues. Now my sister is one of my most trusted confidantes and closest friends. I know I can get an honest opinion from her on anything because years of bickering have ensured that we never mince words with each other. Even parents tend to sugar coat stuff sometimes but a sibling will never be afraid to openly tell you that what you are doing is rubbish.

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I’m only just starting to appreciate this bond and I can tell it’s one I’m going to treasure for a lifetime. The Kane to my Undertaker, the Rafael Nadal to my Roger Federer, this is forever.

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