Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bhai

Cross posted at Desi Momz Club.

Bhai (brother in Hindi)

Bhai and I have always been close. Despite the 7 year age difference. Or maybe because of it. I remember being advised of exactly what boys thought about when they were talking to girls. And yet my head was unceremoniously buried under a pillow during the age inappropriate scenes of 'Pretty Woman' and 'Basic Instinct'. Bhai would discuss his relationships though he wouldn't kiss and tell. We would talk about anything under the sun. He's the one who introduced me to Western musicians and told me to like it if I wanted to be cool :). I turned to him when I needed a shoulder to cry on. I went clubbing with his friends and him. We have been drunk together. It's that kind of relationship.

And yet, as he faces the toughest challenge of his life, I find myself looking for excuses to bring up the thing that I know disturbs him the most and yet not finding any. I know that talking about it brings him pain and anguish, so I let it be. And yet I know the problem continues with no solution in sight and I long to talk to him, to understand what he's going through. For my peace of mind. And maybe to be of help.

Temperamentally we are very different. I'm the firebrand. The one who always knew what she wanted and went after it. I was never too bothered about what my family or friends would think as long as I was convinced of the rightness of my path. He, on the other hand, has always been devoted, and the ideal child. Always concerned about how his actions will be viewed. Making sure that our parents were happy and their dreams for their children fulfilled. The 'good' boy. Popular among all our family and friends. Leaving me feeling many a time jealous of his easygoing nature and his ability to attract people.

The last few months have been tortuous as the reality of his situation has become clearer to us. Clearer, only because it has become too much for him to bear, and he has chosen to share. But that too in snippets. All of us feel it acutely and yet don't know how to help him. He doesn't want to talk about it. I feel helpless. We all feel helpless.

You're wondering why I'm writing this now. Changing the pleasant tones of this wonderful blog.

Because I need to say this to him (even though I know he won't be reading this) -

"If you need someone to talk, without judging you, or forcing you to take action, then you know where to find me. I love you, Bhai".

I can't say this to him directly though I talk to him about random other bits regularly. It's one of those things. But I'm so glad I have him and I know that I can depend on him anytime. And he has me. Always. That's what siblings are for. This is my parent's best gift to me, ever.

Squiggles Mom

4 comments:

k said...

you made me cry!! you're soooo right! i hate to say it, but i saw this coming. i love bhai with all my heart and i wish someone could say something. if anyone can though, it's you. you've been the closest to him. esp in terms of being able to talk to him about things that are happening in one another's lives at this stage. if it ever does happen, please let him know we all love him and support him in doing whatever it is that makes HIM happy - not us. his happiness means more to us all and i hope he can soon come to understand that and act upon that.

masi poo said...

first of all, i love him too. actually i love him sooooooooo much.
second of all, dear God!
third of all, do something! I mean, going back to what you were saying earlier about his personality type-- he won't say or do anything to anyone regarding his problems esp. because he doesn't want to hurt anyone or burden them with his issues. Just make it a point to tell him a) he is hurting everyone more by NOT talking b) it's not a burden-- you're family and you love him! The only way we are happy (no matter how cliche` this sounds) is if he's happy. Let him know this from me too, as I live in a village-hard to communicate: I want him to be happy, and that I love him mucho, and if he wants me to beat anyone up I can--I know locals, they're vicious ! But on a serious note, you can do it--be persistent, you're good at that.
I don't know if what I said actually mattered, but I hope it does.
P.S. I love you too !! (but him a tad bit more, you give bony hugs, he gives squooshy hugs--haha. fat joke!)

Sue said...

Call him up. When I know my brother's in trouble (we don't talk) I drop in on him and yell at him. He's so surprised, it jolts him out of whatever it was that was going on.

Squiggles Mom said...

K and masi poo - The whole point is he doeasn't want to talk about it because it makes him unhappy. He has specifically asked us not to raise the issue. And he thinks I will just shout at him and tell him to take radical decisions, which he doesn't think is feasible.

Sue - This is a problem that's been going on for a long time. It's just that he's chosen not to hide the situation from us any longer. He insists he is happy and that he will sort it out if it gets too much.