Someone once asked me if I felt I missed having siblings and was fine being a single child. How does one answer that question? I don't know anything else. How can I miss something I never had? To their credit my parents never made me feel that I missed out on anything and I don't ever remember asking my parents for a brother or sister. When I was very young ( the age when I could probably have asked that question) we lived as a joint family. My cousin brother is 10 months younger than me and he was pretty much in the picture since I could remember and as I got older being a single child was/is the only life I know.
I have been blessed with an AMAZING set of cousins. My maternal cousins and I are quite close and I know that if I am ever in a situation that would warrant sibling support all of them have got my back. Most of my childhood memories are of summers in my uncle's apartment in Hyderabad. All of us cousins would somehow fit into a two bedroom apartment and have a ball. We had the typically indulgent grandparents both of whom were amazing cooks! I remember sitting down to card games after dinner and playing well into the night. I remember my uncle invariably yelling at us to keep the voice levels down so as not to wake the neighbors. I remember my aunt bringing home cream puffs home from work. I believe in the energy of places and to me that house is a place filled with love and a whole lot of positive energy.
I make friends easily. In school I straddled two rival gangs quite easily. But I find it hard to open up 100% to anyone. I can't say I had a best friend to whom I could bare my soul. Maybe this is an offshoot of being a single child but I used to try to be Ms.Congeniality. I didn't pick fights easily. In fact I rarely fought. In all 14 years of school I remember one fight in 4th standard and I am good friends with that girl till date. Kiki is my best friend from school. A very unlikely friendship, it has lasted through the years and we can truly go years without talking to just pick back up where we left off.
My school shaped me into what I am today and even though I may have forgotten how to balance chemical equations, the values that my wonderful teachers instilled in me are still there. I took part in a lot of debate and dramatic competitions and had the gift of the gab! I was house captain of my house and I have a trophy to prove it. My mother wasn't too happy about this as she felt it would take away from my studies in 12th standard but it was a dream and she was very proud of me at the investiture ceremony. Only the parents of the school leaders are invited to attend and I have a picture of my parents standing on either side of me beaming proudly as I held the house flag in my hands.