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To

‘The First Borns’

 

When you know to look for the right corners and alleyways, you’d understand how beautiful it really is  to be the first born. 

I remember my mom stopping me from changing the channel once. It was an old song playing, a boring one at that. I asked her, “Why? You are making a garland and not even looking.” 

 

To which she told me, ” This song is special.” 

I later learned that that was the song she heard a little before she was made aware of the fact that she was pregnant with me. I saw her resuming her work humming that nameless song. I watched her instead the TV that day, fascinated. 

 

So listen, if you are the first born, bloody, you are a precious. No matter who you are and what you make out of your life. There’s this one person who remembers it all about you. 

 

I bet that’s something to smile about.

 

You get the edge of expectations. Yes. 

The weight of your father’s dream? Oh boy! Most of us drag it along. 

Our choices? More than once are smothered by various reasons, circumstances. True.

But you know what? 

You get the first word to say NO for the one after you. We usually stand silent when it’s our lives on line, god knows why! but for them? I don’t know where that courage comes from. 

 

How many of us spared our brothers/ sisters the life/college/subject we went through?

“Leave her out, daddy. She struggles with mathematics. Let her pursue something else.” 

“He’ll not handle the stress well. Plus, MBBS is difficult to live with these days. How about letting him explore more of his music?”

 

How many of us did that? Stood between our younger ones and our parents. I know I have. And I’m happy I did that. I’m sure most you must be pretty pleased with yourself if you have done that.

We get to stand up. And probably our siblings are the ones who bring that up in us. The protective side hidden inside; make us realize that we have soft underbellies. That we really are not that tough at heart to see them go through something which we know is hard. 

We then get to see them chase their dreams. And to see them stumble, make up, fight fierce for what they believe is their niche – if that is not beautiful about being the elder one, I don’t know what else is.

 

Your younger sibling will get the watch in fifth grade. You know you cried a whole night for it in your tenth grade. They get the gadgets, the luxury fast in their life. I do not deny. 

 

But you know what? You get the before and the after. Which they don’t. And believe me, I’m sorry they miss it.

 

You got to ride the basket when your dad had nothing but a bicycle. You know the slow way around the city. You know the sweet of cotton candy, jaggery, street cart tastes and country fair wooden horse rides. Things, your younger never got to experience; for, those days are gone. 

 

You got to live in that one bedroom apartment with your parents. You slept with a hand over your mother and your leg thrown over your father’s. Your younger perhaps had their own bedrooms decorated in pink or blue when they were five. 

 

You got to catch leaking rain drops in vessels with your mom, playing alongside. Make paper boats with your dad.

Now you live in a better house that doesn’t have a kitchen that leaks. 

 

You got to ride your dad’s scooter standing between his legs, talking his ears off. He did not have a car and a million phone calls to attend en route back then.

 

You got to tune radios with your dad. Your mom then had time to sing to you. 

Your dad didn’t know to calm a crying baby. You taught him how to. Putting your brother to sleep was a cake walk for him. 

 

Your mom had no clue how to hold you still in bath. She learned with you. And the first bath you had without slipping, that was your moment of win together. You taught her eggs can bring out rashes. That you don’t appreciate citrus and its sourness early on in life. She never tried it for your sister.

 

When you think about it. It really is amazing to realize that you are the one who grows old with your folks. 

 

The younger ones often just get the amazing stories. 

You? You get to live them. 

 

Which is why, chin up, first born.

You are not a victim. Do not listen to pitty party buzz feeds anymore. No.

You are the pride and reason for two people. 

You are the one a little pair of eyes look up to. 

You are the dream come true for a family. 

A vision and a living reminder of the good old days to them.

 

To be you, a first born, is living a life that’s beautiful. Trust me.

 

 

SARA JOTHI

HBB BLOGGER ( And, a proud First Born to her parents)

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