THE SIBLING FACTOR

Siblings are like those secret stashes of candies your mom hides in the most obvious place; you might get many or none, but even if you have one of them, you know it’s going to be a roller-coaster of a day. Let’s talk about sibling shenanigans, in a household filled with laughter, tantrums, and a never-ending supply of bread jam.

The early years, when we are coarsely dumb and inseparable, often result in the older one having the advantage of eating the bigger half of the candy or getting to sit on the ride you always find the most fascinating. We share secrets, trade toys, and even devise wild plans to outsmart our parents into waking up just a little later than 8 pm. But as the pages of the calendar turn and the years sweep by, change tiptoes into our lives like a mischievous monster.

As adolescence hit, so did the stormy seas of change. The once-trusted playmate suddenly develops a mysterious interest in wearing black outfits and listening to music on dad’s now-stolen AirPods. Meanwhile, the one who used to adore bedtime stories is now glued to a glowing screen, furiously texting friends and deciphering the enigma of teenage slang.

The house that once echoed with giggles now resonated with the occasional door slam and the ever-so-dramatic eye roll. It is like a sitcom where the script has reached the shocking twist, leaving the audience (aka the parents) bewildered and slightly amused.

Despite the newfound differences, deep down, siblings still share the unbreakable bond that only they understand. Beneath the eye rolls and sarcastic remarks lies a treasure trove of inside jokes, embarrassing family stories, encouragement in various activities, and the unspoken promise that no matter how much we change, we follow our designated sides of the bed unfazed.

As the years pass, life throws curveballs, and the once inseparable club find themselves on different paths. From filling school MUN forms to undergraduate courses, the elder ones leave with skyrocketing promises of sending teasing pics of freedom and a hint of tears in their goodbye smile. The younger ones grow in the hollow space of the empty side of the bed.

College, jobs, and relationships take them to far-flung places, turning their childhood home into a souvenir of memories. But just when it seems like distance might cast a shadow on their bond, family pulls them close.

The first inklings of change start to appear during family gatherings. The dark sunglasses and alien music are replaced with stories of office adventures and adulting woes. The glowing screens are momentarily set aside to engage in heartfelt conversations about the complexities of life. It’s like witnessing the return of old friends who had momentarily gone on solo adventures but now found solace in each other’s company once again.

As adulthood unfolds, siblings discover a new layer to their relationship. They become confidantes, offering a listening ear and sage advice in times of triumph and turbulence. Childhood adventures and jokes evolve into a secret language that needs no words; but maybe some when you want to embarrass them in front of their kid.

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Through the laughter, tears, and the occasional disagreement over who finished the last piece of pizza, we tend to realise that change isn’t the end of our story; it’s merely a new chapter.

And so, cheers to the down-to-earth, ever-present bond of siblings — a steady force in the authentic, sometimes messy, plot of our lives.

— Arushi Soni

In the revelation of ‘kindred’, Arushi’s heart tenderly holds the relationship through her 16-year existence. She hopes these words offer the same solace she has cherished throughout her life.
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