Foes to Friends

Foes to Friends

I have come to believe that if India and Pakistan were closeted together somewhere, secluded from the rest of the world, all acrimony would disappear.

Let me explain. 

So the other day, N asked H to get her a glass of water. Now usually a seemingly simple request like this one would have been met with point black refusal mixed with sharp derision and a vociferous recounting of past-grudges along the lines of ‘That day, that time when I had asked you to get my whatever you didn’t, so why should I?’

Whoever said children with siblings learnt to share and adjust and do things for each other probably never had siblings.

Anyway, so this time, to my absolute astonishment, H did it. He actually walked to the kitchen and got her a glass of water. The Husband almost fell off the sofa where he sat watching the IPL, while I performed the most spirited happy mental jig.

Maybe, just maybe, that sibling theory wasn’t all wrong.

I thought back and realised that over the last few months of lockdown my personal India-Pakistan — H and N — seem to have called a truce. (I can’t even let them get a whiff of this analogy lest I begin a war of which one of them is India and which is Pakistan).

They do small tasks for each other. H gave up his room for N when she needed a larger table for her art work. He also made her a cake-in-a-cup when she was down, more than once. She has helped him clear up his table and lent him random stationery items from her secret stash.

To an outside observer these may seem small things but believe me when I say great wars have been fought over erasers and gel pens of dubious ownership.

Which is why I have looked on these new developments with happy disbelief.

However, if you’re thinking truce would mean a quiet, peaceful, angelic kind of household, you have another think coming. Nope, peace and quiet isn’t the way we do things.

The fights are all but gone, the real fights I mean. However the Tom-and-Jerry thing they have, continues. 

Once after a rather intense study session H got up stretched himself then said, ‘I’ll go and trouble N for a bit’. Troubling her is as easy as barging into her room and proceeding to lounge on her bed, waving a Kitkat under her nose and popping into your own mouth as she reaches out for it then walking at snail’s pace when asked to leave. I almost wait for her protests and they come soon enough and loud enough ending with, ‘Get out of my room’.

N gets back at him by hiding away his things. He’s absolutely terrible at finding anything at all and is soon begging her for help promising to wash up for her after lunch or be her ‘slave’ for one whole day. 

And so it goes on. 

That aside, I’m listing this as the best thing that happened to me during the lockdown. And I’m totally sold on the idea of close seclusion for converting age-old enemies into friends.

Endnote: If you’re a parent of warring siblings, I want you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Last Endnote: *Hugs* to help you weather the storms till you get there.

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