Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Give and take

When you're a six-year-old who's half as tall as her elder sister, you have no choice. You gotta wear the hand-me-downs. Not that the hand-me-downs are dirty or old or ragged or torn. They're fine, they look like new, they're just too small for your sister and that's why you're getting them. But you, in all your six-year-old's sense of dignity, feel offended at being expected to wear a hand-me-down. I hated it. Even though whenever Mom and Dad bought my sister new clothes, they’d buy new ones for me too, I’d look at whatever they got her and think, “Cheh! Next year I’ll be wearing that!”

Mom used to stitch dresses too. Every once in a while, she’d stitch a really nice one. I remember this frilly dress she made for my sister. It was white with blue and lavender flowers. I envied it so much I asked my Mom to stitch me the exact same dress. Well, she did, but in my envy and stupidity, I forgot that I would be wearing my dress first, but as soon as I grew out of it, I’d be donning my sister's version. So for the longest time, I had the same damn dress!

I think it was my body revolting at this revolting system when it decided to grow as tall as my sister’s, and over the years slightly taller too so I’d never have to wear her clothes again. And then something rather strange happened. She moved away. First hostel, and then she got married and moved to the US. And I started craving the hand-me-downs. Guess it was partly because I missed having her around. And so, whenever she’d send me stuff, I’d lap it up. I’d even ask her for things. And I still do. I ask for things. No, actually I demand things the way I used to when she was in a hostel and she'd buy me stuff with her hostel allowance (I didn't get any, my parents never believed in pocket money for kids who stay at home, and boy am I glad they didn’t!)

And perhaps it kind of surprises her that I happily grab the stuff she gives me, because I am no longer the tiny tot who used to ask her elder sister for her things. I have a job and money of my own to spend, but I still make demands, and I like to. The strangest thing is - back then it used to really bug me - having to wear her hand-me-downs. But now I don't mind. In fact, I love it. When people give her brightly-coloured stuff (she doesn't wear bright colours), she sends them along apprehensively and I, in a grand gesture of shamelessness, grab it. In fact, Mom complains that I almost always reject clothes she picks for me, but I lap up anything my sister sends, including stuff rejected by her.

We being polar opposites, my sister is obviously as out of Bollywood as I am into it. It is therefore, highly amusing to get her reaction to my highly filmi statements.

Sis (before Mom leaves the US) - What do you want me to send for you through Mom?
Me - Kya bataoon bahinnn... aapka diya hua sab kuchh hai maai baap, aur kya chahiye?
Sis - (I can sense her rolling her eyes) Hey bhagwaaaaan!
Me – Kuchh bhi bhej do bahinn… main toh tab bhi tumhara rejected maal pehenti thi, aaj bhi tumhara rejected maal pehenti hoon.
Sis – I am hanging up.

Sis calls while I'm trying on a dress she sent through Mom, and munching on chocolates (also sent by her).
Sis - So what are you doing now?
Me - Kya bataaon bahinnn... tumhare diya hua pehenkar tumhara diya hua kha rahi hoon...
Sis (rolls eyes again) - God! This girl!

Anyway, she sent a whole load of clothes and accessories through Mom, thus helping me stick to my new year's resolution of spending less on these things. Too bad all of the stuff she sent is new. I don’t know, somehow I like the sound of the statement “Oh, this is my sister’s!” It has such a nice ring to it. I can literally feel the affection. I may buy a lot of fancy shoes and clothes, but there's nothing quite like what she sends for me – be it clothes, shoes, belts, jewellery, make-up and what not. Especially if it was used/rejected by her.

Despite half a world’s distance between us, it kind of keeps a part of our childhood alive. And I love it.

I guess our sisterhood is based on give and take.

She gives. I take. :D



Shivani said...

Relatively new here, but know the rule. G-O-L-D !!!
As for the post, niccce :) :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

:) elder sisters are the best!

and silver!

aequo animo said...

At least , at last, a bronze!
wait, i have to read it too :D

aequo animo said...

lol :)

Tejal said...

is aluminium still available? *waits impatiently*
hehehe.. i luvvveeee this system.. she gives i take :D real real gud.. i wanna sister i wanna sister :((

The Soul of Alec Smart said...

How sweet :) After reading this, I know what I am losing out on.. Me got a younger bro who's wayyyy taller than me, and can hand down nothing but oversized soccer jerseys. Life eej hard!

satish said...


i get wen i read your post.

poetic ho gaya nahi??!

sahin bhai!

mythalez said...

Used to be similar with me and my elder brother, until my brother grew slightly bigger than my father ... and I remained slightly smaller.

So now, both of them exchange clothes with each other .. leaving me to fend for myself < sniffles sniffles > :D

Shiv said...

Nice post...Almost brought me back those memories of my childhood!!!

Shiv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sunshine said...

hehe, being at the giver's end, it was an interesting perspective from someone at the opposite end... and yeah, little ones are always demanding, always !!!

Alice said...

Warrrrrm post. Reminds me of the way i used to dhapofy stuff from my elder sis back then, and which i miss now that she's in another country. And also of the big goofy grin i had recently when i got a muffler she'd used. :D

Archana said...

Oooooh - I could so totally relate to this post :-D. We both give and take and we love it :-)!

This time when I went to India, I totally flicked a really cute pair of dangling earrings from her. And of course, yours truly has been lapping up all the compliments for the same since then :-D!

Big sisters rock :-)!

Abhinav said...

This thing is so true. But I must say my bro was lucky… I never grew out of my cloths…. I used to through them away after shredding them while playing. And the good ones used to go to the poche ka kapra group. Still by chance once in 20 or 30 blue moons if my bro got a hand down he used to tear it up and then the poche ka kapra….

Well an good post dude :)

Anonymous said...

Good one Sash bhai. Brought back childhood memories. Mom used to make my sis wear my dresses, and boy, did she hate it. But now she likes to wear my dresses and likes whatever I buy in general(either for me or her). Is it in the relationship? I mean this pattern.


Pujya said...

never had any elder/younger sis..some thing i miss most in my life...

I don't mind being on either side...

soleil said...

I completely understand having to wear hand-me-downs. I have 3 older sisters! Thankfully, like you, I've grown and am about the same size as my 2nd and 3rd sis so we lend and borrow clothes like nobody's business :p Ever so often when Clueless and Macho Girl see me in a new shirt, they'll ask, "Was this your sister's?" :)

The Mad Girl said...

I have an identical twin, who has,as it goes without saying, the same height, the same height, the same skinny frame. So we share our clothes...more correctly I wear hers coz she's a better and more enthusiastic shopper.
I'd love to wear hand-me-downs of my cousins, but me being small as can be and they being quite tall I never can.:(
lovely post!!

A G said...

its bad this is the second time..i have written ellaborate comments and they havent been posted :( :(

Geeta said...

and what of younger sisters who are way taller than the older ones??

but yes, older sisters rock!!

Rads said...

See, this is why sisters rock! between u n her, u have two of everything :)) Bro's r just plain annoying!

Sayesha said...

Welcome welcome! And congrats on first gold! :P

#Ipanema Gal,
You bet! :D

#Aequo animo,

Aluminium? Hahaha! Just make your own alloy and take it home yaar! :D

#The Soul of Alec Smart,
Heheeh! The Life eej hard ad is so funny! :D

Wah wah! Sabas! :D

Fend for yourself? Hahahaha! :D

Thanks. :)

Oh you're a giver? Bhagwaan tum jaison ka bhala kare! :P

Hehehe! :P

Oh yeah, earrings get exchanged between us like all the time! :D

LOL at pocha ka kapra group! :D

You're right, could be a pattern! :)

Next life then! :P
ps: You never replied to my email! :/

Hehehe! :)

#The Mad Girl,
You have an identical twin??? :O That is like seriously cool! :D

#A G,
Huh? I didn't see any elaborate comment from you on this one. Are you sure you posted it??


Hehehe... long ago, I wished I had a bro too. I don't anymore. :)

Alice said...

Sash bhai, aapke post ko apun ne link kiyela hai. Padhna ho to idhar jaaneka -> http://spaghettithoughts.wordpress.com/2008/02/02/dearly-beloved/

P.S. Hope you don't mind.