When I was single I often worried about whether the man I married would let me worship my brother the way I do. I didn’t have to worry. The Childhood Sweetheart was the brother’s best friend so he actually had the cheek to inform Tambi before informing me that he liked me – helluva lot. My brother, all of 13, gave him his blessings.
The next time my brother had anything to do with my partner was a period when he and I were sharing a flat in Delhi when we both began work. I was still seeing the College Boyfriend at that time. At times I thought they were dating each other, rather than me. Endless hours spent decoding chords over two guitars, passing a cigarette back and forth companionably. Going out for a beer together. Watching the same TV shows. I swore that if I moved out of this ‘relationship’ they’d not miss me. And I was right. They stayed in touch right through my breakup and if anything made my brother have any reservations about the OA, it was that he didn’t want me to break up with the CB. He literally nursed him through the worst patch while I hopped from one foot to the other in outrage – whose sibling was he anyway?
And then the OA – he and my brother have little in common, other than me. But apparently that is enough. They treat each other with respect and a genuine fondness. And the OA often wryly remarks that I love my brother more than I love my own children. I am of course always ready for a pointless argument so I reply that its true. I do. My kids are half his blood – but my brother and I – we have the same roots. He reads me and treats me the way no one else does. He forgives me when no one else would. He will be there as a link to my past when my parents are gone. He is the one person who will always take my calls.
So once the OA hurdle was crossed, I, being the worry wart that I am, began to worry about my brother’s partner. Would she like me? Would she mind that I dote on him with every fibre of my being? Would she care that we still complete each other’s sentence. Still pick almost the same side on an argument and are often dismissed by the OA (as by other exes in the past) when we do that as – ‘Don’t get into an argument with these two on the same side. She’s passionate, he’s firm and they can convince you that elephants can fly if they make up their mind.’ He always advocates dividing us up in an argument. Smart man.
And I can’t deny having gone through his girlfriends with a magnifying glass. Nah, too tall, naah, too square, naah, too annoying, naah, too dumb, naah, too hairy etc etc. Until he met the lovely woman he is now married to. Something told me then itself, that this time I should not even bring up anything. And I had nothing really to say, other than that they seemed to have no similar likes. I gave it some thought and realised that was the case with the OA and I too.
And that worked out fine because 2 years ago at X’mas, we had a party and as the guests went home and the bonfire died down, leaving glowing embers, my brother and I still sat out in the cold night, strumming away and singing. Updating each other on our playlists. Have you heard this one? Oh do you remember that old one?
And inside the OA and the SIL sat over a dining table groaning under the weight of the food and discussed the merits of one way of cooking a biryani over another. All was well.
It’s been almost 3 years since my brother got married and I was looking at a picture of them I have in a frame in my living room. The two of them beaming. He looking proud, her lovely face smiling out at us. I have to admit I had my pangs before he married her – but they were all to do with me. What if I couldn’t let go of my partner in crime, graciously? What if I were a jealous sister in law? What if I offended her and ended up never seeing my brother again? And it was to this end that I stayed alert and aware. And conscious, never to overstep a limit and go into what is her territory. Never to take his side in an argument. Just stay out. And above all, learn to love her. Because here was another woman who saw my brother for the terrific person he is. Who loved him, adored him and thought he was the ant’s pants, just as I do. Which is what often surprises me in inlaw issues. Aren’t we all coming in from the same side? Don’t we all love this man to bits?
When I found out I was expecting the Brat, I famously called my brother before my parents, something they haven’t let me live down yet. And the Bean too. Which is what he did some months back when they found out they were expecting their baby. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! My baby brother is going to be a daddy!!!!!!! I remember him coming down to India for the Brat’s birth and refusing to do more than lie next to him and let him curl his little fingers around his big one. He was terrified of touching something so small (and I suspect, so ugly). There was the one day he was supposedly watching over the Brat (all of 10 days) and he yelled out in a panic to my mother – Ma, come fast – the baby is running away and I don’t know how to stop him.
Yeah of course we took his arse about it for days. Still do.
I make no secret of the fact that I want a dozen babies. The OA makes no secret of the fact that he doesn’t. But it doesn’t matter anymore because my brother is having a baby. I didn’t think I could ever be as excited about a baby as I was about my own, but I was wrong. I am even more excited. I am hopping around. I am dancing around. I am over the moon. I am singing all day. I am ready to treat random people. I have been breaking the news to friends with all the joy of a pregnant woman!
I now feel like rushing off to the US and kicking some sibling butt and getting him to move back to India where I can see my nephews and nieces grow up. I don’t want to be an aunt via skype and telephone. I want to hold them and cuddle them and scrub their dirty faces and wash their little bums. I want my brats and them to be inseparable and I don’t want to cry for days after they leave.
So this is your job, gentle readers. We’re starting a petition – sign below. Please leave a comment telling Tambi and family to head back here. Close to us. Whats in it for you? Why so much more grist for the blog. So many more babies, so much more fun. And oh yeah, congratulate them too! So – Move back, Tambi, move back.. move back, move back *starts chanting*
PS: Those who haven’t had a chance, please do go and vote for my post HERE. You need to PROMOTE it. Not just like it. Yes, you have to sign in and have a blog. Please, please. All those of you who find it too painful too. If I get the blackberry I can blog from anywhere! Please – please?! Will a picture of my ratty Nokia convince you?
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