It was the same time last year when my brother was down from America for his annual bonding time with family. The funny thing is, he slept most of the day, and when he had his quota of sleep and food, he would call me, and make a plan for the evening. It continued in this manner for the whole six weeks that he was here, with sporadic visits to geriatrics in the family, which he pretty soon tired of, so it was over to me again.
It was a tiring, but exciting time, with me having to work two shifts of work and play with equal intensity (no less than 100% will do for the bro). Not that I am complaining. He and I are real buddies, we talk about everything under the sun (I listen most of the time), and we love doing stuff together.
And the best part is, we always end up saying yes to each other’s plans, and it is never out of politeness. Random pub-checking, impromptu traveling, eating anda pav near Cooper hospital at 2 am, watching English films dubbed in Hindi and laughing our guts out, taking off to Lonavala for breakfast, and pretty much anything that involves food or drink.
It was almost like having a boyfriend on call—someone who always says yes to your plan, someone who will try anything just because you want to try it, someone who’ll ask the head waiter for a peppershaker that you fancied, someone who is sentimental when you want him to be, someone who is not when you don’t, someone who can be a man and figure out what’s wrong with your car engine, and yet be in touch with his feminine side to understand your womanly woes.
My best friend has a similar thing with her brother. She loves his energy, his drive, the way he is inspired to experiment with his life, the way he almost always has the balls to do so, the way he can think out of the box and is equally kicked by what she is thinking, and the way he can play brother with his intuitive wisdom about stuff that she can sometimes miss.
And then, it got me thinking—would we really like to date our brothers? And if so, are we setting a huge precedent for our prospective or existing partners? Because a lot of the putty that has gone into making your brother is you. And I don’t mean this in a vain way. Simply that climbing trees together, playing marbles and learning how to string a kite at age 10, signing his report card when he has mostly reds, and being a part of his first break-up perhaps creates memories that the finest suitor cannot replace.
But then, that is a whole new putty to start working on. And a whole new set of memories to create.