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Community members share their favourite lessons they’ve learnt from their siblings

by Ashima

To tattle or not to tattle?

By Amornrat Sidhu

MINNI VAHERIA
49 years old, Owner of @premiumqualitydryfruits
On sisters, Sweety Kapoor and Dolly Vaheria

One of my sisters, Sweety, got married and moved to Miami in 2000. There, she studied to become a qualified teacher, bought her first home, raised a son, all on her own accord after marriage. She was a shining example that you can achieve anything no matter how old you are. This is why at 48 years old, she was my biggest cheerleader when I was itching to start my own business during the COVID slump.

After doing research, I settled on dried fruits due to their health benefits. After my decision, my other sister, Dolly, connected me with suppliers and clients because she also believed that I could be successful with this new venture, regardless of my age. After watching Sweety do it first-hand, and having Dolly by my side, I knew I could do it, too. Currently, my business is profitable, but I don’t want to leave my day job just yet!

THASANEE KHANIJOU
25 years old, Instructor at GIA
On Sister, Kitiphorn Khanijou

I still remember the day my sister called my mother to tell her she had just quit her job at Lotus Agency Asia as a graphic designer in order to start her own business! No one had any idea she was planning this, perhaps neither did she! The very next day, she began to build her business and nowadays, everyone in the community recognises her work.

I am hardly spontaneous like my sister, I am much more of a planner. Regardless, when I received a call for a job interview that was entirely in a different field of study, I was fearful but I ended up taking the leap! I don’t think I would have been gutsy enough to switch my focus from analysing cells with my Biological Science degree to analysing gems and jewellery. Now, four years later, I am an instructor at GIA working in an entirely new industry and I love what I do!

KITIPHORN KHANIJOU
30 years old, Owner of KK Studio
On Sister, Thasanee Khanijou

My sister was thoroughly committed to her day job. However, when COVID hit and our family business, Mystique Arom (www.mystiquearom.com) slowed down, my sister decided to build an eCommerce shopping platform. She gave each family member tasks to accomplish during the day while she was at work. Then, when she came home she would follow up on our tasks and began hers, which involved a lot of tabulating data, compiling lists, and so on. She produced a directory of our products that was over 300 pages long.

Her determination really inspired me in my new venture. Part of it involved compiling the work I’ve completed over the past ten years which seemed impossible, not to mention, it required consistency, a trait I am not so familiar with, but I am going through with it because I watched her do it with my own eyes.

AYUSH SEHGAL
21 years old, University Student
On Sister, Nandini Sehgal

When I was nearing my high school graduation, I was waiting for my acceptances from the various universities I applied to. It was already an uncertain time, and I started getting rejection letters from my dream schools and safety schools in the United States. It was disappointing because I didn’t apply to universities in other countries because I really wanted to pursue Computer Science there.

Knowing I was feeling low about it, my sister talked to me and said that I had to believe that there was a silver lining to the situation even though I couldn’t see it, that I had to be patient and have faith in the hard work that I put in in high school. A few days later, I got an acceptance letter from the University of Berkeley, which is extremely well-known for my major of choice. What she said was true, I just had to have faith!

NANDINI SEHGAL
30 years old, Fitness and Wellness Instructor
On Brother, Ayush Sehgal

My brother is nine years younger to me and he is the reason I am able to detach myself and see stressful situations from a bird’s eye view. This helps ground me and allows me to complete tasks in a reflective manner. An example is when I have my day planned out in a certain way and an unforeseen hurdle comes along. It could be as simple as being prepared to create content all day when I have to suddenly leave the house and run some emergency errands. I get really bothered and feel I won’t make my deadlines, but he has taught me to detach and not necessarily react immediately to every situation. For that, I am thankful.

RAJNEE ANANTASRISAKUL
32 years old, Teaching Assistant
On Sister, Ampal Sachdev

My siblings and I persuade each other to be better whenever we can, to the point where none of us have any choice but to listen! A classic example is how my love for reading came to be because of my sister, Ampal. When she studied abroad, she realised the importance of reading and began to cherish books of different genres. I never used to read for leisure, but after her constant attempts to convince me to read the books she enjoyed, I finally picked up the habit. Now, I read more for leisure than she does, and I am better for it!

KANCHAN KHURANA
31 years old, Make-Up Artist
On sister, Banee Gulati

My sister always reminds me to be on top of my game regarding my work as a make-up artist. In COVID times, it is important to still have a presence and find creative ways to showcase your talent, regardless of how daunting or bleak the situation looks. Banee works extremely hard as a junior associate, she is also studying further to achieve her dream of becoming a fully licensed lawyer. She has countless early mornings, late nights, no weekends, not enough sleep, and has to prioritise who to meet (even beyond COVID times!)

BANEE GULATI
23 years old, Junior Associate
On sister, Kanchan Khurana

My sister and I are seven years apart, she got married when I was in Class 8. I’ve always observed the way she carries herself, how she dresses up, and how she behaves around people. Once there was a small function at her house and I noticed that aunties, uncles, and other guests were asking her to complete tasks non-stop but she was really calm through it all and completed them with a smile on her face. She did not show how tired she was nor did she respond rudely to aunties that were grumbling at her. She just carried on being herself.
I think about this moment often because it made me realise that getting angry and saying ‘no’ out of spite would make me a villain. I, instead, try to carry myself like my sister did that day, I always try to be calm and do things in a way that doesn’t give anyone a chance to criticise me later on.

THE TAKEAWAY

Siblings can be worlds apart in personality, style, and appearance, but often their values are the same. They model behaviour around each other consciously and unconsciously. When we are shown what can be done in difficult circumstances, we can also learn to do so with grace when faced with similar ones. It is only when we have our biggest cheerleaders beside us that we can become better versions of ourselves tomorrow.

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