We all want to believe in fairytales, but reality is ambitious.She wants to open our eyes, both literally and metaphorically.

Riches and rags, rags and riches. We’ve all heard that story, wherever we were born or brought up. There’s always that person, hooded with hope, who turned rags to riches and that one drowned in pride who slid down from riches to rags. However, the distance of these two words, has been wrongly dominated by ‘to’ when it should’ve been ‘and’. (before all the grammar Nazis kill me for such indecency, I must explain). Riches and rags always go hand in hand, like an old, bickering, married couple. Hatred at the core of their relationship. For they are two sides of the coin- one exists for the other does. In Economics, it’s popularly known as “income inequality”, sociology as “survival of the fittest” and psychology as “perception or prejudice” (depending on which side you belong to).

All my life I’ve been the saver, saving for something bigger, better, worth it, the dissatisfaction eventually translating into quitting almost everything from people to courses, except addictions, they’ve got seductive powers. On the other hand, my twin as I like to call him, even though we were born 19 months apart, chose a life of abundance, spending to his guts’ satisfaction, always defending himself quoting the scores of sacrifices made by men as they get older. The laws of nature stay the same, though at the macro as well as the minutest level. So, I justify my miserly lifestyle and my kin’s grandiose way of living, with an unbeatable factual analogy of the savings driven- India and the consumption driven-USA, making it quite clear who’s more prosperous.

This proves rags and riches, by their very co-existential nature cannot be loosely bound by a ‘to’. They need an ‘and’ for emphasis, the weight of two, burdening us all. This phenomenon has haunted me from time immemorial, not because the God almighty or as some like to call them, parents, had any say in this behavior, but had everything to do with my empathy, maturity and ultimate doom into the rags, travelling into these pits, not without transferring the fair share of riches to someone else.

While, my twin prepares to leave to make a life, that I always dreamt of, I stand at crossroads with these confusing feelings, stunned at the mere profanity of one- how could this not be me? Why didn’t I get this opportunity? Or where did I lack? Thankfully my brother-love stood victorious, blasting in my face the realization of dry and conversation-less tea breaks, of missing the telepathic connection (the endurance of which I fear the most) and of in-existent lightheartedness of every bad day.

I read “mourn the living” again today, two authors now; the assiduousness of life in wreaking havoc, addressed by both. May be one day, it will give up and I won’t. May be one day rags ‘to’ riches will make more sense. May be one day the older twin will be inspired by the younger one. May be that day she’ll tell the world about it. May be someday she’ll be heard.

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