“Bas teen behene ho? Ek bhi bhai nahi hain? Oho.”

If someone paid us a rupee each time someone said this to us, we would have been frickin’ millionaires. From irritating neighbours to nosey relatives, we have heard this statement from every ‘elder’ person we know.

When I was a kid, I never understood what it meant. I mean, I knew that I had two elder sisters, who loved me to the moon and back but that’s good enough, right? Nope, as per our beloved society, it wasn’t because of reasons that no one knows. 

There was a relative, who had a ‘loving’ son, and used to consider themselves ‘superior’ for some reason and it’s unbelievable to me, because putting someone down because she’s a woman, and NOT a man…how is this acceptable?

There was always a random auntie in our neighbourhood who would make a miserable face and tell us ‘koi baat nahi, kya kar sakte ho ab’ when we aren’t even sad. Is not having a brother a sin or even worse, the end of the entire world? No, dammit, it isn’t.

However, to balance this negative world, we were blessed with beautiful grandparents and parents. Who not just supported us and shut these relatives up and kept telling us that we are no less than men.

I still remember how our father made us learn to drive when we were just thirteen and made us learn everything about banks at the age of eighteen. On the other hand, our mother never pushed us to be in the kitchen, instead, she asked us to be independent and self-sufficient.

To be honest, these people set the right example of being ‘elders’ in the family as they made us what we are today – independent, capable and honestly, very happy. 

The world always thinks that ‘bhai ka pyaar toh alag hi hota hain’ and honestly, we never doubted that. We have several male cousins who have been with us through all the situations. But, if someone doesn’t, that’s fine too.

Rakshabandhan, the festival we celebrate with a lot of gust and happiness, means to tie a bracelet of love on someone to protect you. However, who said only ‘brothers’ could ‘protect’ you? 

I have two elder sisters who have been a massive part of all my high and low points in life – from passing school and college to breakups and heartbreaks – and have protected me from all the possible evil in the world. Therefore, from the last couple of seasons, we three tie a rakhi on each other’s wrists before our brothers because we have been each other’s protector and not some random, distant relative.

Now, in the current time, we feel extremely proud when someone tells our parents that all three of their daughters are doing so well in life because we did it, without a brother.

It’s good to see that society and the relatives are now realising how a family doesn’t need a son or a brother to reach heights. It’s still a long way, but we are slowly moving.

To all the sisters without brothers, no matter what society thinks or speaks, you never need a brother to experience that sibling bond. Don’t listen to anyone because “people come and go from our lives, but sister love lasts longer than any other love we know.”

Cheers to all the sister’s squads out there, including mine!