Disclaimer (& 2018 edit): This and many other posts were written between 2009 and 2011; during this time, I was very much so interested in finding a “life partner,” getting married, having kids and “being settled.” Now, at this juncture in my life (not because I am jaded by what I lived through or anything like that), I am not seeking any of these things. I am enjoying being just me and completely free; instead of seeking a relationship withy anyone else, I am fully engaged in one – for the first time in my life – with myself.

Four years ago today, my brother & sister in-law got married and although I know that they’ll likely be horrified at a blog post dedicated to them (sorry!), I hope they do not mind too much and for the purpose of this post, my brother will be bro (what I actually call him & errr… I am sure I did not have to explain that one! =P) & my sister in-law will be “Isha” or my SIL.

Although this is a post that – at it’s core – is about Broisha, I must first digress and talk about my last post, What Good Looks Like, which was a really interesting experience for me.  After publishing that post, I received about 10 messages from friends telling me that it was one of their favorites, several guy friends who I saw out that following weekend told me that they really enjoyed it (which, I am not going to lie, I heart those guys for not getting caught up in their heads over admitting that they read my blog), & for the first time in a long time, I received comments on one of my posts.

The majority of the commenters (& I understand that people who post anonymously lean towards the negative) perceived my blog in a way that surprised me… Essentially, these people wanted to make sure that I knew that life was not a fairy tale, that there was no such thing as “perfect,” that because of what I viewed as “good” from that post as well as recent posts (I am assuming “Why is Nice SO Shocking”” which my brother was a big focus of), and my (in their opinion) seeking a life “like others,” I was delusional.

If you want, you can see my responses to those people; however, one thing I did not say to them that I want to say here is that I think the world needs to see more of “What Good (in real life) Looks Like” and that it is unfortunate that when a story of “good” is shared that most people cannot receive it as it was intended – an example of 2 people who (as far as I could tell) were in a healthy, functional, thriving & loving relationship who were not only all those things, but were also just really great human beings which was apparent by how they treated us.

As much as I am idealistic and like pretty much everyone else I know, love a great story (if you watch TV/movies or read fiction, you like good stories!), I am also realistic & often for my friends, painfully so.  I know you might find this hard to believe, but I am usually the voice of reason to many friends and the one who harshly says “he’s just not that into you/me” to them (or myself) when they/I try to rationalize behavior that doesn’t line up with someone actually being “into you.”  Sometimes, I see things in such a black & white way, that girlfriends who are on the far side of the hopeless romantic spectrum refrain from coming to me for advice b/c I will tell it so like it is and will predict how it unfortunately ends up panning out in spite of their believing otherwise.  Unlike what one commenter (who used the word “perfect” 6X in their comment) said in his/her perception of me, I do not hope to “run around a tree and sing a song and be perfect together.”  In spite of having grown up watching Bollywood movies, I have one foot firmly planted in reality (see Reality Check) and I know that if I did not, I would have been married a loooong time ago.

I believe that as a generation that grew up with “60% divorce rates… 1 in 3 marriages fail within the first 3 years” (<– no idea if any of that is even true), seeing what completely dysfunctional looks like on “Reality” TV and all the horror stories highlighted on the news, while at the same time growing up hearing/watching the love stories of celebrities or watching them act them out on TV or the big screen, we could all benefit from knowing what “good” can look like in REAL life.

& that’s where Bro-isha comes back into this post… do my bro & SIL have an amazing story?  YES, they do, but that is the last thing that ever crosses my mind when I think of why they are an amazing couple.  For those of you who are interested, you can read their story in the speech that I gave at Bro-isha’s wedding (& forgive me for tooting my own my own horn, was THE BOMB! :-P) & that I have posted in a separate post.  I know this might sound odd, but I wrote that speech in about 15 minutes before my brother & SIL were even engaged; before the Bro had even mentioned getting her ring, I knew they were each other’s “one” and one day, it all just came flowing out of me.  That was how I felt about them as a couple before they got married, and 4 years later, how each of them lights up the other’s life (<– I am sorry – I know that’s too painfully cheesy for some of you) and how much they respect, value, care for & love each other has not changed one bit.

To clarify to those commenters from my last post, I do not wish to be that other couple or Broisha; however, I do wish to be in a relationship that is based on a solid foundation and shared values… that is loving, respectful & caring like theirs… & that comes from a place where each partner’s happiness in the relationship comes from the other partner’s happiness.  I know some of you are again rolling your eyes and sarcastically wishing me “good luck finding that,” and I honestly think it is sad that so many people are so jaded, bitter & resentful that even hearing about “what good – in an example or two – looks like” induces that reaction.  Although I know that my last post bothered or concerned many (for my sake), I believe that for anything that we want to be successful at in life – whether it’s our education, careers, health/wellness, relationships or some skill like public speaking, time management, organization – it is so important to have some kind of standard for what “good” looks like to aspire towards.

When I look at Bro-isha today – their last year spent as new parents of the love of my life, Baby Moon (which has really been so remarkable to watch b/c unlike what you often hear about a “baby bringing a couple closer together,” Moonie was just such a natural-non-dynamic-changing addition to their life) – I am as in love with them as a couple and as people as I was when I wrote that speech 5 months into their relationship, 1 month before the Bro started ring shopping, 3 months before he actually proposed, & 13 months before they got married.

The beginning of Bro-isha’s relationship taught me that it is true what they say about when “it’s the one” you really “just know” and that when there are too many questions (why is he/she doing this/that that makes me feel this not-so-great way?  how will this work with X, Y & Z circumstances?), that it’s most likely not going to work and that when you really like/love someone, there is no such thing as “too busy” (one of the most common excuses I hear from women about why a guy only calls bi-weekly or makes plan to see them once a month even though they live in the same city). My brother was Chief Resident of his Emergency Medicine program and also had several other projects on his plate that he was helping his hospital with in addition to his residency requirements, yet he pursued Isha like that was his J.O.B.; my bro, who lived in the same building as me, essentially disappeared off the face of the planet for 6 months – & I am not going to lie, I got slightly butthurt about it – but afterward, I realized that those 6 months were the most important months of his & my family’s life because they lead us to where we are today…

Later into their relationship and throughout their 4 years of marriage, they’ve taught me that although they’ve definitely had their “grand” moments (the grandest being how my brother proposed – feel free to ask me about it in person), that all that is just a good story to tell and what really makes a relationship is all the small things… I personally believe that what makes my bro & Isha soul mates is that they perfectly complement each other in how they treat people and how thoughtful they both are… as I mentioned in my “Nice” post, my bro used to send me flowers on Valentine’s Day, and post-marriage, I have not only gotten flowers from Bro-isha, but on our 1st Valentine’s day, my lil’ man sent me the below.

Although I know my SIL was the executor of the above and most of the thoughtful “small things” post-marriage, every incredibly thoughtful thing she does is an expression of both of them & as a couple they go out of their way to make sure that days like Grandparents’/Mother’s/Father’s Day/Birthdays (they went above & beyond for my 30th bday) are as special as can be for whoever’s “day” it is, and my SIL also does incredibly sweet things like sending “Thank you” cards on behalf of Baby Moon or when we have a Skype date scheduled, she’ll have Moonie wear some shirt shouting out how much he hearts me 😛


Having said all that about them, I feel the need to emphasize again that I do not want to be Broisha, that I do not believe that “good” only means palpable love like the other couple I described or being as thoughtful as Broisha, nor am I seeking a guy just like my brother (as has often been implied by many), but that who and how Broisha are as “life partners” and as people is something I will always admire, and IMO, I think more people need to know what good looks like so they stop wasting their time on the anti-good and so that not to have some super idealistic standard, but to at least have an “at minimum” standard rather than having no standard at all and tolerating a lot of pain, heartache & feeling bad about themselves because of the person they are choosing to keep in their life… I also want to assure all who are concerned that although I will always and forever love a good story, that it is not the story that I want (so you know, the proposal, a ring w/ X # of carats or a grand wedding are also all things that I could do without – more on that later) but that it is the partnership – what being a life partner actually means – that I am looking for.

So in honor of their anniversary, I want to thank Bro-isha for not only be an aspirational couple, but more importantly being aspirational human beings.  You both have always been and are super successful people by all standards, yet nonetheless, you are constantly challenging yourselves and are forever on a pursuit of learning and being better (& you help me to do the same – my friends know that half of my audio & real library collection is courtesy Broisha!); however, what really makes you successful is not your impressive educational backgrounds, resumes, or professions, but all the relationships in your life (I wish more people got that – that “success” isn’t $’s in your bank account, a house, a few cars, lavish vacations or anything like that but real success comes from our relationships).  Before you met each other, you each had your own groups of admirers & fans in all your friends and family and now that you’re a couple, you have this huge following of people who ADORE you both & it is seriously one of my life’s biggest honors to be related to the two of you (if anyone reading reads my speech you’ll read that I grew up with “omg, your R’s sister?!” & now just as often, I get “omg, your M’s SIL?!”)

Bro, as you know, you’ve been my life-long role model and Isha, you became a role model to me the second you came into my life & even more so this past year being Baby Moon’s SO AWESOMELY AMAZING Mommy!  Seriously, if I become a mom one day, if I could be one-tenth of the so chillax, level-headed, sweet, loving, fun & super mommy that you are, I would be just thrilled, and I cannot thank you both enough for making me such an important part of Moonie’s life.  I think I have said more than enough (I always do :-P), and I am sure I have lost some folks who could not stomach my gushing anymore, so I will end by saying that today, your friends, family, well-wishers & I celebrate the beautiful day when the two of you became my absolute favorite fob term ever… jeevan saathis…**

Happy Anniversary, love you tons and wish you lifetimes of love & happiness together,

** Having said all that, I know that some people are concerned about my ability to find someone due to who & what I admire, so I want to assure those people that I understand that no relationship is perfect (none of the relationships I have described are perfect) and I completely get that all relationships – whether they are with your life partner, a family member or friends – take effort, so although I appreciate your concern, please do not worry about me.

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. ~ Robert Heinlein
The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts. ~ Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved – loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. ~ Victor Hugo

Never neglect the little things.  Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks, that delivery of the very best that you can do.  It does not matter what others think, it is of prime importance, however, what you think about you.  You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you are cutting corners and shirking responsibilities.  You are special.  Act it.  Never neglect the little things. ~ Og Mandino

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