It is a truth universally acknowledged that siblings must fight, squabble and quarrel, and that everything they’ve fought about must be put aside on Rakshabandhan — either in hopes of a gift, or to put on a show in front of your parents.
Siblings are the best friends we never knew we had, and for Rakshabandhan, we asked our authors to share their wackiest sibling-encounters. Read on, and keep laughing:
Once, when I was around 6 or 7, I got into an argument with my cousin about who was taller. We measured ourselves against the wall but that didn’t convince either of us. We had to see for ourselves. So we got up on the dressing table to measure against the mirror… The only problem was, the table was made of glass. The rest, as they say, is history! We still bear the scars of that day but they’re worth the smile the memory brings. On a more important note, we are both taller now!
Archana Saboo, author of Adikool in #African Adventures
My little sister Vibha is a chatterbox who thinks out of the box. When I came home one weekend with a ring hanging from the middle of my nose, she was horrified and asked me if I was breathing through my mouth now. I just laughed. I didn’t think she actually meant what she said.
Later, she walked into my room, sniffed the air and asked, “Why does this room smell different?”
Maybe because I was sitting there for such a long time, I didn’t really notice. Or maybe because I was engrossed in what I was doing. Anyway, I didn’t think it did, so I told her it’s still the same. She shook her head wildly and said, “I knew it, Didi, I was testing you!” She pointed at my nose and looked at the ring darkly. Serious, almost close to tears now, she announced, “You can’t breathe, I know you can’t breathe! Oh no!” And burst out crying.
By the end of it though, the rest of the family was laughing. She’d had us in stitches.
Megha Rao, author of The Story of Us
My brother is two years younger than me. I was the first one to get a mobile. It started with him borrowing it occasionally, but soon my phone started buzzing with his friends calling at all hours. Soon the phone landed in his pocket voluntarily. I got a new one a few days later, but I wouldn’t stop nagging him about how he had schemed to take away my first.
We all love to hate someone and for me, it’s my little brother, Vishal.
Shikha, author of Logically Stupid, That’s Love
My brother had a huge crush on his tuition teacher, and on one of his birthdays, she was invited too. She wished him a Happy Birthday while handing him a nice pen. But me — I offered her a piece of cake, and got a kiss on the cheek as a reward. My brother looked furious. She was his crush, but I got the gift he always hoped for. Like I tell him even today, true love won that day.
Arpit Vageria, author of I Still Think About You
When I was six, Seth Uncle’s daughters came and tied rakhi to my one-year-old brother Saleem. Soon Sona, my sibling, and I got our thalis ready to stake our claim on Saleem, who was all chuffed up, sitting solemnly, wrists glittering with huge rakhis. Now all grown up, my rakhis find Saleem all over the world, chasing his American dream.
As children of difficult circumstances, we have always been very close. I didn’t believe that my rakhis were anything more than a sentimental indulgence. Then a few years ago, I was really angry at him for some reason, and I decided to voice it silently by not sending him a rakhi. I didn’t expect him to even notice, busy as he was with his career and family. But he called me up, realized his mistake and sorted out the issue. So when we next met, I tied him a rakhi, realizing that it mattered to him, the let-me-humour-her stance just an outward show for the world.
Tarana Khan, author of I’m Not a Bimbette
My life would be a big mess without my sister. She is the one who lets me in when I reach home late from a party, saving me from my parents. She’s always been by my side, supporting me but also scolding me for my faults. On this Rakshabandhan, I want her to know that not only do I love her but I will always be there for every Rakhi and in the future.
Keshav Aneel, author of Promise Me A Million Times
It’s a little out of the normal for my brother to read this, because he wouldn’t expect me to write about him. Like I tell him, I guess God gave his best shot at creating ‘amazing siblings’ when he made the two of us. (He doesn’t believe in this line though.)
I still remember I forced our dad to gift him a remote-controlled car on his birthday. I cried and kept asking for it until Mom went deaf and forced him to give it to me.
I continue to do this; the iPod station he got as a gift now rests in my room, and right now it’s playing ‘Just Chill, Chill’.
Hiding my books, flicking my long hair every time he passed by and in general being the annoying sibling – all that was put aside to the promise of mithai and the all-important gift on rakhi. The gift didn’t need to be big or expensive. I’ve once been given Camay soap. Clarification: I loved nice-smelling soaps and Camay was bath-gold back in the day. I saved the wrapper and began my soap-wrapper collection, an entirely normal hobby.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could all hold onto the simplicity and pure joy of childhood? (Note to brother: you better not send me a soap this rakhi.)
This is the story of the time my brother and I encountered squinty-eyed, flesh-eating aliens — and lost the battle before it even began. I must have been around 14 and my brother 10. My parents decided we were old enough to manage by ourselves while they went out for a dinner party. All went smoothly for the first part of the evening. We ate a quick meal, read our books, watched TV.
Those, however, were the days of just one TV channel. At some point, we got bored and drifted to our balcony and looked at the night sky. My brother noticed some lights twinkling far away, near the horizon. “Maybe we are being invaded by an enemy country,” he suggested jokily.
Delighted by the success of his remark, he embroidered his suggestion. “Maybe we are being invaded by aliens. Flesh-eating aliens.”
I was studying War of the Worlds in school — and immediately began to imagine the worst. I promptly began to whimper. My fear was infectious and my brother began to whimper as well.
Meanwhile, the lights continued to twinkle in in the sky. We both gazed at them in terror, imagining the gross creatures tumbling out of the spaceships. I burst into tears. Then my brother burst into tears. Then we both began to scream.
An hour of hysteria later, we contacted our uncle and shrieked that we were being invaded by aliens. Our uncle arrived 10 minutes later and calmed us down somewhat.
Thirty years later, I still giggle over this story. Only a sibling can share imaginary terrors with such gusto.