ARE BLOOD RELATIONS BIOLOGICAL ACCIDENTS?
My friend Ramu has a nice family – lovely wife, three cute children – two girls and one boy. There ends his contact with blood relations. Our common friend Antony used to tell me: “Ramu will face problems later when the children grow up. He doesn’t maintain relations with his blood relatives…”
But Ramu had a different story to tell. He had four sisters and two brothers. He was the eldest. His father was sick and weak. Hence he took care of the family from childhood. He got a government job in then P&T while he was just 18. He brought a land in his father’s name and built a house there. He spent his youth period in getting all his sisters married. He made sure that his brothers were getting good education.
Ramu could get marry only at the age of 35. Then things have changed for him. He was thrown out of the house. When his father died, the property had become common and he was entitled to only one seventh of his own land. All others, who are now richer than him, turned against him and grabbed the property share.
Now Ramu is 48. He has a small house in the city. His wife is also working hard – running tuition classes for school students. He considers his blood relatives (siblings and others) as enemies.
Once we had an opportunity to discuss about this. Ramu told me: ” Uday, blood relations are biological accidents…You don’t have anybody in this world after your parents die. My siblings are nuts, disloyal, greedy and they fight! Friends like you are God’s apology for relatives….”
I didn’t contradict with him. Most of the people have almost similar experience. Those who sacrifice their lives for the family would eventually become scapegoats or martyrs. Those selfish, ruthless and loveless people would be considered by the society as “practical” and smarter.
“Most people have some issues with blood relations. There is a chance of a blood relative turning into a foe. But the same may happen in case of friends too.” I said.
“There is a famous line of Shakespeare -‘the near in blood, the nearer bloody’…”Ramu said.
“There is no problem if blood relationship is friendly, because friendliness is the true essence of all relationships” I said.
“An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship,” commented Antony.
“Anto, blood relationship is something given to you; you don’t have a freedom to choose.” Ramu said, “Friendship is based on love. It is free of jealousy.”
“Friendship has no status in law. I am very close to my family, so in my opinion, blood is much stronger, “Antony continued: “You can only understand the worth of that blood relation when you will really need a help and that time you friend would not there but you blood relation person would be always there. When you are in trouble your blood relation person like you brother, sister, mother or father would be more in pain than any other person. And they will do for you whatever you need that time.”
“Anto, you think that you can always love and trust a blood relative because you are kin, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. The blood family is more likely to NOT respect each other because they think they can get away with things because the blood relatives have to put up with it – because they’re blood relatives. Friendships are more honest; people make a choice to be friends, it is not an accident of birth,” Ramu repeated his argument.
“You are wrong Ramu. Friends will come and go, but family will always be there. Family will always be your family. Even if you don’t see them all the time, you will always know that they are there waiting for you when you need them…” was Antony’s reply.
“Uday, what’s your stake in it?”
“The society has created few rules, whether it is right or wrong is a different question. For instance, for ceremonies like final rites, you need members of family. Rituals may be superstitions. But it began with a purpose of concreting the bondage between blood relations. The society thinks that family is only those you share genetic material with. If you have no shared DNA, you are not related, they are not your family. Unfortunately, blood relatives aren’t always the ones who will trust you or love you. There are issues like sibling rivalries. Ego and inferiority complex play major role in blood relations, than love. Relationships continue by give and take – if there is no love for each other, what’s the point in having blood relations? But same principle goes for friendship also…”
“What are you hinting at? I didn’t get you” Anto asked.
“How good or bad a relationship does not depend on whether it is a friendship or blood relationship. It depends on the effort and care put in to make the relationship work, to make it satisfying, useful and long lasting….” I said.
“You are beating around the bush – which is important for a human being – blood relations or friendship?” Ramu asked.
“It is like apples and oranges. I don’t know how else to put it. Not more important, just different. There can be sweet apples and oranges. And there are rotten apples and oranges too”
“That’s not an answer at all” Antony said.
“All relationships in life are the psychological value attributed towards it, nothing more. If you remove that value, then there is nothing in it.” I said.
“If there is no love in between, no sharing and caring, why do you need blood relations or friends? It is waste of time and energy. You can better utilize your time for better purpose than maintaining superficial friendship or relationship…..” before I finish, Antony said: “Be specific about friendship”
“And be specific about blood relations too” Ramu said.
“New blood relations come up only from love and friendship.” I said
“There was no blood relation between a man and woman when they get marry. Still it becomes the closest, sacred and most important relationship. All blood relations start from a couple, not from blood relatives. So, love is the most important aspect in any human relations. If there is no love, what’s the point in saying “he is related” or “she is my friend”?. Hence, let’s give equal importance to all! Let’s celebrate togetherness as one family rather than anything else. Let’s always be friends and relatives!”
© Uday Lal Pai. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing at [email protected]