At home with self

In Good Company

Anusha Ramanan

Remember the adorable baby single-handedly teaching thugs a lesson in Baby’s Day Out? How about the lonely little girl fighting the evil Miss Trunchbull in Matilda? Well, that’s the power of being an only child, one might say. But on a more serious note, how do children without siblings feel? Metrolife spoke to some single children in the City to find out if they ever desired a sibling.

Anusha Ramanan, a technology consultant, says she never felt lonely as she always had many people around. However, when she was really young, she would ask her parents to buy her a brother or sister from the market. “But once I realised I get undivided attention, I stopped desiring for a sibling.” Did she ever have trouble sharing her things with others? “My mother tells me that my school teacher complained to her once, that I would never share my seat or belongings with anyone. Even when my friends would come home and play with my toys, I wouldn’t like it.”

During his childhood, Vineet H, a client servicing executive, would feel bad whenever he saw his friends with their siblings. “I thought they always have someone to play with,” he feels. “But every time, I received a gift, I would be happy that I don’t have to share it with anyone.” There were also times when Vineet’s friends would complain to him about their siblings. “I would tell them not to complain as they are lucky to have a sibling. But they would tell me that I am the lucky one,” he laughs. But at times, he does wish he had a younger brother. “I would have loved to look after him.”

Says Lokeshwari S Gowda, a student of class nine at Baldwins, “When everyone loves me and buys things for me, I feel extremely nice.” But there are times when she feels lonely and longs for someone, with whom she could share her feelings. “Maybe an elder brother, who would be protective of me,” she wishes.

It was only when he was passing out from school that Hemanth Kamath, a student of arts at Christ College, desired for a sibling. “It was tough to move out and make new friends,” he says. As an only child, he feels one becomes more self-reliant and independent. “But a sibling helps you overcome the difficulties of life,” he adds. He did have problems sharing his things when he was younger. “My cousin came to stay with us for two years. It was then that I learnt the art of sharing.”

Being an only child, were these people ever pampered or over protected? Most of them disagree. “In fact, my father always wants me to go out and learn things on my own,” avers Hemanth. Lokeshwari’s parents give her all the freedom she needs. “Though I am allowed to go out, I have to be extremely punctual or inform them that I will be late. Even if I get delayed by a minute, they get worried.”

Says Vineet, “More than being protective, my parents were possessive, especially my mother. Once, I had to go on a mandatory school trip to Aurangabad. My mother agreed initially, but when the actual time came, she told me to pay the amount and not go,” he laughs. That he convinced her and went for the trip is a different story altogether. “She would also keep calling me every now and then whenever I was away from home,” says Vineet.

What about the pressure of living up to the overwhelming expectations of the parents?

“I made it clear to my parents that I can’t get straight ‘A’s on my report card,” says Hemanth. While Anusha feels that though her parents always had expectations, they never got overwhelming. “Even now, I always advice my friends to follow the policy of China and have only one child. But that’s mainly because of India’s growing population,” she laughs.

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