If there is one thing that can be annoying and exasperatingly cute at the same time, that has to be your sibling – older or younger, it’s all the same! From the moment you realise that the toys in your wardrobe are not just yours anymore to the moment when you finally get synced to the fact that a part of your heart (and secret stash) will always belong to them. No matter how far you go or how old you get. Being a sibling comes with an unsaid code of conduct that involves many sloppy rules. Let us ride through some of them, reminisce about the good times we have had with them, and toast to the good times we will have ahead!
That mathematical error in fractions
By some unfortunate chance, if there remains just one slice of mango or one fried fish on the table, mom tries to sort it out by giving her kids an equal share of what is left. Then comes the obvious phrase, “Enikk velya half venam!” However mathematically incorrect that may seem, this is a major sibling catchphrase at every dinner table ever.
I demand some ‘bahumaanam’
There are certain moments in life when you screw up and the last person who can save you from peril is your brother or sister. And you know that you have to be at your best when you need to ask a favor from them considering the ‘close to criminal’ history that you have with them. Your chettan/chechi is usually aware of the fact that you will creep in at any moment and so they put up a very ignorant demeanour so you have to beg for their attention first and then ask for their help. “Chetta enn vilikk, enna aalochikkaam” or “Chechiyo? Korach munne vare angane aarnillello vilche, eh?” are some of the phrases that make you go red in anger. But then ‘aavishyam nammude aaypoyle!’ realisation hits and we end up licking their boots!
Nothing is yours or mine
Clothes, shoes, makeup. No matter who paid for what, it just cannot be owned by just one sibling. Remember that day when you flipped your wardrobe inside out searching for that one black shirt you bought last month? Only to realise that your sibling has gone out wearing it, and has posted on Instagram and received comments like “Looking cool!” and “fashionista!” You secretly plot to murder them when they get home.
Being the older one is never easy. No arguments!
Apart from having to hear ‘Ninte aniyan/aniyathi ninne kandalle padikkunne!’ ever since they plopped into this world, you have an innate sense of responsibility that takes a toll on you many a time. Admit it! If you were the elder one, you have had a fair share of scoldings and doses of ‘chooral kashaayam’ while your sibling got away with pouts and cute faces. And if you ever decide to vent your anger on them they would probably make you feel sorry you even thought about it! Most of the time you are expected to ‘compromise’ just because ‘Ha cherthalle, vitt kodukk ni!’. We can’t stress enough how much our hormones have raged inside all the while our younger sibling puts on an ‘oh-so-paavam’ expression on their face with a sly smirk that only you could see!
The blame game
Be it the case of cash disappearing from your dad’s wallet or the shattering of your mom’s favourite glassware, there will only be one answer to your parents’ interrogations, “Njan alla, chettana/chechiya!” One of those moments where you wish ‘bhumi onn naduve pilarnn enne onn vizhungirnnel!’ And if ever you dare to use the same trump card to trap your younger sibling, chances are that you have failed. Miserably. Because for some reason if they wind up with a bad habit it would only be because you exposed them to it!
That ‘ovuchaal’ origin
If you happen to be a sibling who doesn’t look much like your mom or dad then you have been tortured to tears with the comment “Ninne dhaa ee ovil ninnaan edthe!” And as much as you would have loved to slap them on their face, there are instances where you silently wondered if this was true. And not to forget the mention of that exchange mela where you were ‘purchased’ in exchange for a sack of ‘thavidu’!
Keeper of your heart and guardian of your secret stash
Despite being the annoying brats that they are, they are probably the first people you run to when you want an unbiased and non-judgemental opinion. They have seen you at your best and worst. They know are capable of being the epicentre of a problematic typhoon, but at the same time, they also know how you make their life better by just existing. They are the people who mock you for the people you have a crush on. They are the people who know exactly what you want even without you saying it out loud. Like ever. And while you might not stay in touch with them every day, when shit hits the fan, you know they’ll be there for you.
‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder’ holds true when comes to sibling relationships. The moment your life takes a big turn and you leave the comfort of home to stay in boarding school or hostel, you realise that you are leaving a part of yourself back at home. You wait to go back not just to eat mom’s tasty appam and stew, but also to catch up with your sibling and snack on the juicy gossips that surround your home and college. There’s nothing purer than the love between siblings and nothing’s stronger than the bond they share.