Balancing a Part of Life…
Friday Reflections #9
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
They say an introvert is not one who is silent, but one who chooses to talk to just a few. I can’t help but agree. When in school, I was one who lived those words. I chose to talk to just a select few, and even with them, talk just a little. The only person who I talked with a lot was my sister. My time was spent in the library, or sitting on the edge of the playground watching others play. That time lasted only till a few friends pulled me out of it and into deeper friendships, a more interactive life and into creating memories that have, so far, lasted my lifetime.
Honestly, those were the days I “lived”. There was no worry. My sister and I could race through the rain while coming back from school, and smile after getting a scolding. We could play badminton till eight at night, under the streetlight, and no one would question us. The only thing that was required of us was to finish the homework on time. We only fought over the remote. The one who had it would take it along so the other wouldn’t change the channel. Not one friend we had in school knew we were cousins. For everyone, we were siblings, we still are. We teased each other about our crushes. We sang along to songs we played on the cassette player. When we traveled, we had just the one set of headphones, so one earpiece would be in her ears, one in mine, as we sat side by side and heard our favorite songs on the walkman, our legs swinging freely from the middle berth in the train.
Now, we’ve grown up. Time is not on our side, or so we think. She’s busy with her work life, and I am busy with mine. It has been ages since we traveled or went on vacation together. We’ve our own dreams to chase. Sometimes, we feel distant from each other. I’ve had people say to me that that’s because we’re ‘cousins’, that it’d be different if we were siblings. That’s absolute rot. Blood can’t define a relationship, especially one with siblings. But when she’s working from nine to seven and me from eight to six, the balance tends to tilt toward work rather than life. It’s something we both despise, though we cannot express it aloud. When we meet for morning walks, it delights us when some stranger looks at us and says, “Those two are siblings.” We are. We still talk of work, of new dreams and of hope when some things in life make it feel hopeless. We talk of friends, of the good ol’ days. We reminisce that each time we meet and walk past the old school campus.
Rakshabandhan is around the corner, and it’s our favorite day of the year. It’s not that we need a thread to remind us how important we are to each other, we know that. Yet, it’s a celebration of a sibling bond we have shared in our heart since the day she came into this world, and I chose her name. I’ve to plan a gift for her now, something more special than the last year’s. The best gift for this year that I can think of is for both of us to take a day off from work, go out for lunch or a movie and let that balance tilt toward life again. There are many places where that lack of work/life balance is felt, but none more so than not being able to meet her often. Time to set that balance right, I think.
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason, 3rd July 2016)