My Big Little Brother
On a recent trip to Melbourne to pay my brother a visit I decided to drag him along to a late night shoot at Webb Bridge.
Little did he know my plan all along was to get him in front of the camera with me for a little impromptu sibling style shoot. Of course initially there was a fair bit of protesting but he eventually caved and warmed up to the idea of moonlighting as a male model – well long enough for Adam to get a few decent shots anyway.
Ok, so I have to confess that when I started writing this piece it was going to be about winter layering. But, I got sidetracked and have gone all sentimental, so I’ve decided to flag fashion for something a little bit more from the heart. 🙂
If I had it my way my brother Ra would be by my side always.
Since his arrival when I was three years old my brother and I have seen each other through a lot.
From growing up as mixed race kids in Malaysia, later moving to New Zealand and being the only two brown kids at our new school (with super fresh accents to top it off!) and flatting together as adults, Ra is my “ride or die.”
He’s the person that without fail can make me go from my ugly face crying (it ain’t pretty trust me) to laughing so hard it hurts in a matter of seconds.
He is my little brother, and he also happens to be my best mate.
As we’ve gotten older we’ve both become more aware of how rare and special our bond is. With many of our friends often pointing out that it’s not something that they share with their own siblings, and wish they had the type of relationship my bro and I share.
We’ve flatted together three times as adults, the most recent being last year when my partner and I were based in Melbourne for six months and Ra joined us after a job transfer.
We have travelled overseas together numerous times, and in more recent years since meeting my current partner Adam, Ra has even joined us for a few holidays.
I love spending time with him and couldn’t imagine him not playing such a huge role in my life. The fact that he and my partner Adam became such great mates is also a bonus. I hate to admit it but if they didn’t get along in the early days we most likely wouldn’t have lasted very long! Haha
It takes a certain confident and self assured person to come in and embrace the bond my brother and I have. In the past some of the people my brother and I have dated have not been huge fans of the fact that he and I tell each other everything and talk most days. I know I am incredibly lucky that Adam has never felt threatened or jealous and respects Ra and I’s BFF status.
Ra has been single now for almost two and a half years, and in that time I have watched him evolve into a much more confident person who has learnt to enjoy his solitude.
For a long time I watched him struggle with his ability to feel comfortable in his own skin. It was hard in high-school being known as the “half-caste” kids in what was predominantly made up of white middle class attendees. Being different is never easy when you’re in school and kids can be mean and cruel. I know my brother had to face his own set of challenges when it came to finding his place among his peers. They all bonded over the typical blokey “jock culture” that is so ingrained into kiwi society.
It took Ra ages to finally admit and accept that his Malaysian Indian genetics meant he just couldn’t quite keep up with his binge drinking kiwi mates.
Luckily for most of us the departure from high-school allows us to enter into the real world, thus leaving high-school pressures to conform and fit in well and truly behind us.
My brother hates it when I say this but I’m going to say it anyway, he’s a catch!
Seriously, he is, and I’m not just saying it because I’m his sister haha! – He’s going to kill me when he reads this FYI
Ra is part of a dying breed of men who still possess the “gentleman gene.”
My grandmother always used to say “you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his mother.” I think this is often very true and in my brother Ra’s case he’s an absolute sweetheart when it comes to the way he treats our mum.
Our other brother Ari and I often tease and say he’s mum’s favourite, which always results in mum getting so mad!
But all jokes aside, I could not be any prouder of my brother Ra and the man I have watched him grow up to be.
Although the distance between us gets in the way and we don’t get to see each other nearly as much as I’d like. I know that one day we will be old, toothless, and grey, but he’ll still be my very best friend.
Ra, if you’re reading this, thank you for being such an incredible brother to Ari and I. ♥
Blazer: Vintage Michael Kors
Top: Black cropped L/S top Zara
Jeans: SERGE de bleu
Bag: Vintage 2.55 shoulder bag Chanel
Shoes: Burgundy suede ankle boots Edward Meller