I thought twice before participating in the #SiblingStories #SiblingTalk blog train.
When Ila Varma, who is hosting this blog train announced it, I simply commented “all the best”. I would have left it at that.
I am an only child. No siblings. What sibling stories would I tell? (To know more about me visit my “about me” page)
Then it occurred to me that I do have sibling stories to tell. So what if they are not my own?
#SiblingStories #SiblingTalk is a blogging train hosted by Ila Varma in collaboration with the Brand Ang Tatva. The train started on 7 October 2018 and will run till 9 Nov 2018. Follow Ila on Twitter & Instagram.Thirty-four enthusiastic bloggers make up the blog train for #SiblingTalk as they reminisce about their cherished memories-sweet and sour-with their siblings. Please visit varmaila.com to see all the posts in this blog train.
I grew up with my grandmother in a large joint family. My mom had seven siblings. Only one, my uncle, is still alive and that thought makes me very sad. While I have many friends who have siblings, I have to say that the love and unity I’ve seen between my Mom, her sisters and brothers has been the most inspiring. Sure they fought, disagreed, didn’t talk to each other and often disapproved of one another. I’ve seen my uncles practically come to blows, fighting. But if someone intervened, instantly they would become the outside and my uncles would be united!
I remember how my uncles would fight over who would read a new book that came home, and finally, whoever won would secretly hand it over to my mom to read!
If one of them had even a minor problem, the others would drop everything and come running. They were truly supportive of one another. Never kept score about who did what first. Even when they were scattered across the country to locations where their jobs had taken them, they made it a point to attend every family function regardless of how far they were located.
And the fun they had when they met, recalling their childhood experiences was a joy for the rest of us. Of course I have lots of cousins. But what we have is nothing close to what my mom and her siblings had.
They would recall incidents and tease one another.
Do you still cry when you wash your hair and shikakai goes into your eyes?
Remember how you used to eat the curry even as it was cooking in the pan?
I bet you blew a load of cash on buying everyone gifts
Do you remember that Bore Mama who used to come home?
How lovely it was when Raju Chithi visited us..
It was “remember that time when…” all the time!
And on and on it would go, the conversations ringing with peals of laughter as if they were back to those days when they were still kids. The brothers would go buy flowers and all the favorite things their sisters liked. The sisters would braid one another’s hair and decorate it with flowers. They would cook their favorite foods. They would bring each other gifts.
Just thinking of all that is enough to take me to my happy place. And in the midst of all this, these siblings would celebrate their nieces and nephews, because, after all, were they not an extension of themselves?
When one uncle had to be admitted in hospital, another rushed over with his wife, to look after him, taking his kids under their wing. When one sibling needed money, the other generously gave it, not loaned it. When one of my aunts with a large family was struggling financially, the others found some excuse to visit her and give her gifts to tide her through. They thought nothing of taking care of one another’s bills or other financial commitments. Cheerfully!
What’s really interesting is how different they all were from one another. A set of diverse individuals bonded by blood.
Most of all, I know them as kind and generous people, not just within their families, but with others, too.
I can’t say I’ve never wished for a brother or sister. I admit I’ve felt a bit envious of my Mom for her large family.
Growing up, I did have friends who regarded me as a sister and I have also tied the odd rakhi to a couple of bro-friends. But it comes nowhere close to actually living with a sibling.
If a sister is one’s best friend, then I have two close friends who are my sisters from another mother.
My best friend, who lives in Canada, is no less than a sister to me. We’ve known each other almost all our lives.
We went to the same school and college.
Have lived in the same neighborhood.
Have bunked class together.
Have drooled over guys together.
Have gotten drunk together.
Have consoled one another over our perceived “tragedies”.
Have lied for each other.
Have fought like cat and dog. Still do!
Are like chalk and cheese.
Yet, we have a close bond and would give our lives for each other and always have each other’s back. We can tell each other anything without the other being judgmental. Sure she sometimes forgets my birthday, but those memories are precious now.
I remember, in 1987, we moved back to Hyderabad after being away for six years. We were both 24 and of course, living in the same city meant being inseparable again. So on 28 July, there’s a knock on the door at 7am Wondering who it might be, my Mom opened the door to find my friend standing there with a huge tray with a massive cake. As soon as she spotted me, she sang happy birthday to me and barged in, setting the cake down on the table. I was naturally surprised because my birthday is on 27 Sept.
But I played along, of course, because that is what sisters do. After lounging around and with two mugs of coffee in us, my Mom asked her why the cake, today. What followed was a long argument, with her insisting today was my birthday. Only she would argue with my Mom about the correct date of MY birthday! If you are wondering what we did with the cake–haha–of course we enjoying it! And if you are wondering if she baked me another on 27 Sept, yes she did. And got me more gifts!
We’d help ourselves to each other’s wardrobe and fight over who would wear a new outfit first–luckily we were the same size, although she is taller. We practically lived in each other’s houses, much to the amusement of our families.
When she decided to join an aerobics class, she forced me to enroll with her for the company and of course, transportation to get there. We’d go at 6 in the morning. Some days, she’d refuse to get out of bed and insist that I hang around so we could just stay in and gossip.
Maybe the geographical distance separates us, but we have marathon conversations on the phone. So grateful for technology–and whatsapp. And we’re so fortunate our husbands and kids get along so well!
In 2011, I gained another sister. The day we met, we knew we were soul sisters! Vanita and I adopted each other and have literally been in each other’s hair since. She’s one of the most wonderful human beings I know and I often think of her as my Mother’s voice. Wise beyond her years, she knows exactly the right thing to say when I am upset. She is also very good at giving me a kick when I need it the most without mincing words.
Having known her for years now, I can’t help thinking that this is what it is like having a sister. Although we haven’t met yet, there’s nothing we don’t know about each other. She’s my sister from another mother. Oh yes, we fight, argue, scold–but in the middle of it all, if either has something to share or talk about, our priority is to support each other. My fondest wish is that we will meet soon. I almost did when I visited Canada in 2013, but our itinerary was too tight to fit in a trip to the US.
By the way, Vanita is a tech whiz and excellent coach. She’s the sort who will teach you to fish. You know how the saying goes: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” She coaxed me to move to self-hosted WordPress back in 2012 and took care of everything for me. She still does. I just go whining to her when I have a problem and her response is “no worries” and she tackles it for me. She tells me I am wonderful and of course, I believe her. Because I secretly think she’s the best. And I love that her kids email me!
Hmm. I could go on and on.
People say blood is thicker than water.
I see families where siblings are too busy to spend time together–or won’t talk to each other because of some differences, often minor. They let their ego waste precious moments.
Maybe I wished I had siblings. But here is the thing. I now know that friends are the family we choose for ourselves. On that basis, I am blessed to have plenty of “siblings”.
Thanks to Prerna Wahi for pulling me on to the blog train with her post Sister Love – Sugar And Spice
Please head over to Ghazala’s blog to read her #SiblingStories
To read all the posts on the Sibling Stories blog train, visit this link
Lovely. Sometimes we are blessed to have friends who are so near and dear to us that they give us all the happiness, joy and support that we wish to get from a sibling. I am happy you have it in abundance. Stay blessed and stay happy!!
Alpana Deo recently posted…Comment on Paan Ice Cream or Betel Leaf Ice cream by Varsha Dev
Aww…Vidya loved reading and was transported in the era of your Mom’s siblings. I was raised in a large family n I know how people love and react, fight but still remain glued. Thanks for joining me and supporting me. #SiblingStories #SiblingTalk
Very aptly written Vidya. I cud literally feel my mom n her siblings. You have captured all d moments so well. Loved reading it.
As always a post full of warmth and chuckles, Vidya.
Your two soul sisters sound like the best friends sisters turn out to be, almost always.
I grew up in a joint family too, with 5 Uncles and 3 Aunts, and the memories you shared evoked mine.
I so love the fact that despite not having a conventional sibling , you’ve written the best post I’ve read so far, in this series.
A charming interpretation and, as usual, the easy flow of the narrative is a winner. Loved the little graphics in the post.
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That was a lovely post Vidya. I am fortunate to have a sister and it sucks that we live on different continents. I do think though, we can have friends who become family – living in a country where I have no family, it’s my friends who have become that for me.
Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…Weekly Gratitude 2018 41/52
Yes close friends are just as near as a siblings. Reading your post reminded me of my closest friends and the time we spent together.
Awww this is such a heart warming post. I was loving it when I was readnig about your mom’s siblings and wondered at the bond.
Then your tales with your two soul sisters was like another revelation altogether. Way to go Vidya on these connections; these are unbelievable treasures and are priceless in their value! I hope you get to cherish these bonds for many years to come!!
Couldnt imagine you “whining” – nope still cant!!! 😉
Ok so I must mention that there are crucial details missing here. I shall list them for the sake of clarification.
1. You are priceless to me my dear sister. No one can compare.
2. I make you nuts sometimes but you still love me with all my flaws and craziness.
3. You taught me to really WRITE. Sure I could put thoughts to words before you, and sure they were interesting and enjoyable at times, but you taught me to go beyond that. You taught me structure and consistency and to show positivity in all I write. Hell, you’re still teaching me grammar LOL.
4. Your support in everything I do is why I am thriving and can confidently say I am a successful entrepreneur today.
5. You give me the strength to keep trying new things and you keep me going when I fail.
I love you Vidya Sury. I am grateful for you every day.
Vanita Cyril recently posted…More Important Than Money: Understanding Why You Really Do What You Do
I loved reading this post, Vidya. Siblings are precious. I am blessed to have a brother and a sister and we are very thick.
What a wonderful blessing, Rachna! Thank you 💕
I loved reading this, Vidya because it made me think of so many memories with my older sister who lost her battle with cancer last week. Omgosh that birthday cake story is hilarious! I have my funniest memories with my little sister who I’m convinced is the funniest person on planet earth. I agree with you about your friends being the family you pick for yourself. I have friends who are also my family. – Great post. 🙂 – Oh, and there were 7 of us kids growing up! 😀
Enjoyed your post Vidya. Such a beautiful thought and message, straight from your heart. Very well written!
Your story reminds me of my maternal uncle and aunts and the bonding they have 🙂
Agree that our best friends are like are our sisters and I am lucky to have such Sis friends 🙂
My mother in law are 10 borthers and sisters and the description that you have given about your mother and her siblings absolutely fits in for them too. I agree that our generation can never be governed by such emotions of belonging and dedication. And it was so cute that you have mentioned about the two sisters you have from different mothers. Loved reading about them. But wait! You have promised you’d let in on some secret in this post. Could find one. Help Me !
What a truly Vidya-esque post. ☺️
Filled with memories, happiness, joys, and all things good about being siblings. You’re right of course. My sister and I are inseparable although we have had our fair share of fights as kids and even a few as adults. But we’ve always got each other’s backs, fiercely so.
It’s one thing I really wanted for Gy and knowing the kid she is, she’d have been a wonderful big sis. But she makes up for it by pampering all her baby cousins when they visit. And living it up with the ones her age.
This was a beautiful post. Long, winding, nostalgic. Like I said, typical Vidya post and the kind I love. 🙂
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True words. Being a single child has definitely gifted you with many and many siblings. My love and hugs to your dear soul sisters. Always your posts give positive vibes and uplift my soul. Thanks, Vidya!!!
Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Comment on Home Town Treats: Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai – #HomeTownTreats #FlavoursomeTuesdays by Vasantha Vivek
Enjoyed reading about your family and special friends. Lucky are those who have the pleasure of both.
Suzy recently posted…Best Friend Stories #LifeThisWeek #FridayReflections
What a lovely one, Vidya! Ila reached out to me too and I wished her the best. I couldn’t join but reading your post makes me think you shared a lot of things that resonate. I have a younger brother and we are very close. But like you I also have friends who are sisters. Who have fought for me and stand by me. 🙂
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I’ve read a post about you and your brother, Parul! How fortunate we are to add to our families via friends 🙂
I loved the graphics you’ve used in this post. And I did think Vanita was your sister and not just a sister in spirit. I have a brother who is a great sibling – supportive yet quiet and I’m blessed to have him
Thank you Sunita! 🙂
How lovely ya! I love all your posts but this one really made me pause Vidya… you’re lucky to have these uncles and aunts. God bless.
I wish I had such an awesome sister/friend!! Lucky you!
wonderful post dear. Even my mom have a special kind of bond with her sister. And when ever we all come together, i come to know about different stories & funny names they use to call eachother.
This is such an endearing post! It actually reminded me of my childhood days, with my partner-in-crime — my brother! As everyone of us, even I believe that we were made for each other and have the best sibling story ever. 🙂
I loved the way you described the relation of your mother and her siblings. Difference of opinion is going to be there but what matters is standing by each other through tough times.
Thats totally an awesome post. Enjoyed and loved reading your post . Lucky you are for having such a cute sis. God bless you all!
Such a heartwarming post Vidya…Took me back to my days spent with my mom’s siblings and incidentally they were seven too, 4 sisters and 3 brothers. Such a fun time we had every summer when we visited them. I am glad you decided to hop on the sibling train.
Lovely read. I was stumped when you said you had no sibs. Whoa I thought but then you had quite some experiences around siblings ,so there….
You are fortunate to have experienced that kind of love and warmth. And also the ability to convey it so beautifully in words. Lovely pics too
My story is same like yours. I dont have a brother or sister but I have some wonderful cousins. For me cousins are more than siblings and yes best friend can be your soul sister too. Will share my story soon. 🙂
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sooo beautiful written that I become a fan of your writing skill. you have penned down so beautifully. the poem is cherry on the cake
This post is written so beautifully even I also don’t have a sister but I am blessed with best friend who is more then a sister
Such a heartwarming story.I’m deeply touched by reading about the strong bond shared between your mother and her brothers.So inspiring indeed.Lovely narration.
Lovely post Vidya, beautifully expressed emotions.
Your post showered one of the important aspect of Siblings, that is unconditional love and support. And if a person is giving that then ofcourse can be admired as Sibling. Liked the way you expressed the Sibling bond of your mother.
MeenalSonal from AuraOfThoughts
So true just sometimes in life one comes across friends who become soul sisters. Even I have one that I feel is the one I can go upto and say anything.
Very beautifully written Vidya. You have beautifully captured all d moments. Loved reading it.
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An absolutely lovely read! And 1 that i can completely relate to!
I have found blessings in friends who have been soul sisters! With some, it took me a little longer to recognize and accept (lol! as a single child, it is difficult when someone suddenly decides to be the boss of you for your own good! 🙂 ) their space in my life, but now, i wouldnt have it any other way and have much gratitude for these people.
That was a beautiful read and yes I agree with u, friends are like family. I loved the birthday surprise by ur friend and glad to know we share our birthday- 27th Sept. Next time we can party together.. hhehheh..
Siblings are love. I’m blessed to have a sister and brother. Such a lovely post. I really liked it. Keep up the good work. Stay Blessed.
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