The World of Sisters

“Can I ever trust you to take the right decision?” This is a line my sister has been saying ever since I was 12 years old and she was 17. She said it then with absolute conviction and has continued to say it even though we’re both now on the wrong side of 30.

The World of Sisters

The World of Sisters [Illustration by Shinod AP]

We share a love-hate relationship, typical of sisters. One minute she wants to wring my neck (and I cordially return the feeling), and the next, I’m convinced that she’s the best thing that happened to me. Not surprisingly, she doesn’t always think the same about me.

Older to me by five years, my sister didn’t take to me right away when I was born. She felt I had taken her place. So the excited ‘goo goos’ were replaced by a surly ‘where did she drop from’ look.

Our parents were a working couple. So when school began, I became my sister’s responsibility for all school-related matters – coming and going to school, looking me up once a day, fighting it out with a bully who upset me every now and then, meeting my teachers if I behaved badly in class…the list was endless.

Thus, I have pleasant memories of my sister being a surrogate mother, and she still looks upon me as her little sister who is incapable of fending for herself.

All sisters, I think, share a strong bond. They may have their ups and downs but one gets back on the sisterly track soon enough. Siblings may feel more for each other than they do for their parents. This is true for me as well. My feelings for my sister swing between fear and respect and I do my best not to displease her. In contrast, with my mother I have a comfortable, almost-friends relationship.

Unlike me, Anahita and her sister Preeti, share a friendly relationship. They have an age gap of about two years and they are more of friends and less of sisters. When I was younger, I hoped that when I was older, my sister and I would come to agree more with each other. Perhaps we could even aspire to be friends. But alas! That has remained a dream. We are different people with thought processes that are poles apart and rarely do we see eye-to-eye.

Now that I’m an independent, working adult, my sister tries to trust my judgement and decision-making abilities. I may have my own seemingly chaotic way of living life, but if you ask my sister, she is likely to say that I only do as I please without heeding anyone’s advice.

However, despite her impatience with me, she is quick to offer help. Help I’m only too eager to accept! And yes, we are friendlier than we were 10 years ago.

In retrospect, I feel my sister has always taken the right decisions concerning me. What probably irked me was her high-handed, I-know-everything attitude which, I guess, is because she is older to me.

Surprisingly, our parents have always tried to not interfere. If there is too much turbulence then, of course, out of sheer concern, parents may speak their mind. But on other inconsequential occasions they keep their counsel knowing that children will sort out their tangles on their own.

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