The Brother

Brotherhood has been a subject, quite close to me for a while, now. Very few know, I had...or, rather...was meant to have two brothers, today. One older. One younger.

But, obviously, fate had something else in mind.

The older one, who my Mum had named Musa, was a month old, when he came down with an incurable disease, which my Mum, to this day, cannot describe. I do not mean that emotionally - for, she truly doesn't know what was it that took him away from us. Twenty-eight years ago.

The younger one, who came eight years after me, was only sustained for a few hours. I was too young to even understand why my Mum was at the hospital. Or, actually, I do remember telling one of my teachers that my Mum is about to have a baby. And I don't want her to have one.

"Because I will have to share my things with him."

I remember that conversation, even today. A small, tiny, fraction of my brain pleads me guilty for not having a younger brother. I don't know how much of it is true, but I have heard, God listens to a child's prayer, more than an adult's, especially because a child is often free from sin and greed.

And I truly wished my Mum did not have that child. And she did. And she didn't.

And life, moved on, as normal.

I wasn't always lonely. Heck, I never felt the odd one out, even after having three older sisters, who were, old. By far. But, then, I don't know. My being the only son, got to me.

Especially when my sisters went to their respective Universities. One after the other.

I was left, all alone. To myself.

With no one to talk to, at home. No one to share a room with. And fight with, for that matter.

Then, I'd look forward to my sisters visiting on their term breaks. Only to be disappointed. A lot.

They had grown older. It took me a while to realise that. And fully understand it, too. They weren't the sisters who wanted play cards with me, or a game of Monopoly, or even Ms. PacMan on the SEGA (which was long outdated, by then). On the contrary, they were women. Women with crushes. With secrets. In a world of their own, with their best buddy being my Mum.

And as much as I would look forward to their arrival, it wouldn't matter, in the end. They weren't there for me. Sometimes, they would come, only because they had to. Visa Renewal, for example.

And I aged, mostly alone. With practically no real friends.

At my school front, on the other hand, my classmates had abandoned me, mostly. I was an invisible being in the crowd, when I was with them.

Who they hated, for every tiniest reason imaginable.

And I, in turn, grew even more distant from them. To this day, I believe, my stance with them, is irreconcilable. I wouldn't say too much about them; need to get to the main point of this post.

A year after my third sister went off to University (or perhaps it was longer than that), my cousin, who almost everyone knows is Mooman, moved into Riyadh, fifteen minutes away from my place.

Mooman and I have grown together. Most of our lives. We used to eat out of the same plate when we were little. Fight over the same toys. And, it shouldn't come as a surprise (knowing me), I didn't really quite like him.

He didn't think too highly of me, either.

And that's when it all changed. Only because we often shared the same roof (sleepovers, et cetera), I started to learn the similarities between me and him - and to the extent that some of them were kind of uncanny (like both of us breaking the same front tooth), it just dawned upon me, how much alike we were. In everything (I later realised, we weren't alike at everything, but that isn't so important, here).

A weird bond was forged between us. We always had been family, but it was only now that we realised how much we cared for each other. As brothers. How fond we had grown of each other. As brothers.

To this day, I have believed he was a Godsend. Perhaps He had started pitying my state, a bit too much, so he landed him next to me (although, technically, he had already done that, three years after my birth).

I helped him with practically everything. I was like an older brother. Who always wanted to be bossed and pushed around, but, who, more than anything, wanted to be looked after. The way I looked after him.

And several others, after him.

One of them, is probably reading this, right now.

Following that, it was perhaps more than a simple coincidence, that all my future interactions, were either with people older than me (who I didn't quite like) or with people younger than me (who I bonded with, almost immediately).

WY is the product of such an interaction.

I gathered, that perhaps, this was my purpose in life. To be the big brother. Who had to take the crap of life, only to make the world a better place for those after him.

And, in a way, it did make sense, by all means. My Dad passing away, before I turned seventeen - me being plunged to a place where I knew nobody, and fending for myself - it seemed to make the perfect sense.

But, there was a catch: of course there was. What nature doesn't endow, nurture hardly provides: our thoughts never matched. I always saw myself as the older brother, who could possibly, force the younger sibling to do as I say, because I know better. Since I am older.

My feelings were usually not reciprocated back to me. Several times. Cruel things were said to me, which shook me, deeply. Stuff like, "You're not my real brother, so stop acting like one!" may seem to some as just a bunch of words - to me, they were heart-breaking.

To the lament of someone who wanted a brother so earnestly, it was suicide.

Apologies were offered after that, obviously. But, the scars were deeper than could possibly be healed by a mere apology.

And, today, at the end of that road, I stand with WY, who I don't speak to anymore. Who I loved like a brother.

It's funny, how you move on with life, and you meet even more people, who look up to you. Who respect you...who wished were directly related to you. But then, you're afraid. Afraid of hearing those words again. Afraid of getting your heart broken, again.

Contrary to popular belief, I long for belonging. I long for family. All these years, in London, on my own, I haven't grown cold to feelings; they have only made me warmer. A tad overly sensitive, too, may I add.

But, I am honest in relationships. I want to be honest. I always will be.

If only everyone else could understand.

I do not long for a girl, as much as I long for a sibling who understands me. And I do not know why. All I do know is, my sisters never will. To them, I am the baby brother, who can only have friends, not any brothers...

Can't I?


  1. This sounds whack, but -
    Is there any chance you could see me as a little brother? With the whole, talk-about-girls and all the guy-stuff package?

  2. I would say yes.

    But the psychological effect would keep telling me in the head, you're a girl.

    But, cow, you're as good as one. And always have been! :P

  3. wow dude i feel like posting something like this. in fact, i will as soon as im done commenting.

    i know what you mean when you say youre afraid to try something simply because it didnt work the first time around. but see, there comes a point when trying it one more time will actually patch up that scar.

  4. I agree, boots, but people are brought up differently.

    Take the man in question, for example. He's seen me as a friend, all this time, because he practically never needed anyone apart from Rija.

    You get what I mean? It may be just a fad kind of thing, that's here for now, but will disappear later.

  5. I love this!
    But its so sad, and moving.
    Anyway, was really worth reading.