On a shaky camel ride that felt uncannily like the journey of life I found security in an unexpected source. It was at a family vacation to a small hill station near Mumbai. The weather was windy and light drizzles kept the air chilly. We spotted a camel and the ride looked like fun. I was all of 20 years, older, wiser and smarter than my 15 year old bratty little brother. My parents encouraged us to take the ride and we did. He sat behind me, being the one with the so called greater height. As the camel began to rise, the fun flew out of my system. I’d forgotten that the act of balancing, even me, was never my forte. As I held on to the tiny handle for dear life, something startling happened. Two thin long arms came around me and firmly held my hands into place. I was secure from all sides. The little brother who annoyed me incessantly, fought with me over everything, was given more liberties than me and conversely announced that I made his life miserable, was protecting me.
I wondered then, how many of us, lucky enough to have siblings have taken this blessing for granted. Our siblings are our closest family members who’ve lived and God willing will live with us, the longest. Do we treat this relationship with the respect and nurturance it deserves?
On this precarious camel ride, I was struck by the importance of healthy familial relationships. Lack of it can lead to highly egocentric behavior. We witness egotism on a daily basis, crimes committed on account of jealousy, greed, frustration and more. A wise man has said “The murderer and the saint were both innocent babies once”. Very often, the seeds of disharmony are sown in our childhood relationships. The exciting thought here is that what’s within our home, we can change. Every life situation and simulation can be used as an opportunity to strengthen familial ties, be it something as simple as a camel ride or as complex as property rights. Careful guidance in the formative years can replace the attitudes of competition, intolerance and greed with co operation, flexibility and compassion. Even if these attitudes are not generalized, a strong sibling relationship is a bond for life. A fantastic thought that became my reality in one small gesture.My Story: Holding Hands