I have heard of a custom in some families in our country where the patriarch in the family is served his food in a plate which has a gold nugget in the centre. It is said that gold is good for vitality and good health and the patriarch deserves that.
I do agree that siblings by their very nature are rivals, sometimes the competition is healthy and sometimes the rivalry is bitter.
My sons think – both of them mind you, that I favour the other. Nothing I say or do will convince them otherwise. In my defense, all I have to say is that it is purely circumstantial. There is a certain situation where you give more importance to one kid, and another situation where you favour the other.
And you get damned every time.
The older boy thought he was alpha male in the house for a long long time. The younger, the moment he could express himself did so in the rudest way possible. “You are not my father, so why should I listen to you?’
I would intervene and it worsened the situation. There was a real possibility that this little family I was trying so hard to build would not last the moment they grew up.
Then sense prevailed … on me.
I backed out. And their grandmother, who did show open favoritism died. Both things worked. For months they warred, they said stuff to each other which was pure vitriol. Once they had worked it out of their system they became the closest of friends. They still are.
It works brilliantly for them.
There are times when the older one acts as the top honcho – the one who gets to eat in the plate with the gold nugget.
And then when he wants to be irresponsible, the younger one takes over.
So who gets the plate with the gold nugget in your house?
Ritu Lalit is the author of two novels, A Bowlful of Butterflies published by Rupa & Co., and Hilawi published by Popular Prakashan. She is a single parent and blogs at www.phoenixritu.com