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I happened to watch Arjun carrying Armaan on his shoulders while Armaan was clutching his brother’s hair and laughing and enjoying the ride. Arjun was running around the room with his brother on his shoulders and then dropping him on the bed. Then, he would lift Armaan back up and repeat the same thing again. I told Armaan, “Isn’t it nice Arjun has long hair, something you can hold on to, so that you don’t fall off?” Armaan replied, “I am not holding his hair for support, I am keeping his hair away from his eyes so he can see clearly and not bang against the door or a pole! His hair is so long that it covers his eyes!” I could not help but laugh at his unexpected response and strategic thinking.

One of the joys of parenthood is to see siblings interact and play with one another and to hear them laugh together and have fun. The love and the sibling bond is endearing and heartwarming to watch. There is a lot of teasing and bickering and leg pulling but at the end of the day the brothers are there for each other. As far back as I can remember the boys love to argue, even if it’s a ten minute ride to school in the morning, the day starts with them going at each other. In elementary school, I would tell them to be quiet and no talking allowed and I could see in the van mirror how they would annoy each other with gestures and sign language. I could not help but shake my head and silently laugh when Arjun would be able to use the word butt head without talking but just pointing at his behind and his head.

At home, when Armaan was a baby , he could never nap for long as Arjun would come home from school and wake him up to play with him. When they were little kids, I used to separate them and ground them in their rooms, they would write notes on pieces of paper and push it in that teeny space under each other’s closed doors. Now they text each other to continue the argument when I tell them to be apart in their rooms. The other day, I was driving and I told Armaan to text Arjun that we are on our way to pick him up and Armaan asked to use my phone as he had Arjun blocked on his phone for a while!

The boys will wrestle on the floor, chase each other all over the house and wrestle some more but they do care about each other. When Armaan is hungry he will go to his brother and ask him to make something to eat and Arjun will cook for him. If anyone troubles Armaan, Arjun is there to save the day. If Armaan sees a tiny lizard on the deck, he will yell for Arjun to come outside and then they both will pet the lizard and play with it. They share a common love for animals, for video games, for cooking, for cooking shows and Tasty videos and endless episodes of certain common favorite TV shows and movie series.

I can relate to all of the Bollywood depiction of brothers, whether it be Amitabh and Shashi Kapoor in Deewar or Shahrukh and Salman in Karan Arjun. I bawled uncontrollably all through the movie Lion as I could totally understand the relationship Saroo had with his brother Guddu. Guddu and him would steal coal from trains, sell them and eat jalebi with that money. He would plead to go places with Guddu and the latter would oblige as he could not say no to the pleadings of his brother. In a scene from the movie, Saroo gets hit on the head by a watermelon and is hurt and his mom scolds Guddu, she tells him that it should not have happened on his watch as he was supposed to look after his younger brother. That is the quintessential role, brothers have to look out for each other and they do.  Not to sound too corny but let me end this blog with the words of a song from Karan Arjun, “Ye bandhan toh pyar ka bandhan hai, janmon ka sangam hai…..” and may the bond between brothers always remain strong.