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Eternal Solitude

By Ajay Krishnan

“So, how many siblings do you have?”

“One……and only.”

When people ask me how many siblings I have, I have to respond with an awkward “I’m an only child”. This is quite a strange phenomenon, coming from an Indian family where there are so many relatives that it gets questionable if we’re even related. I then get bombarded with a series of “you have all the attention”, “siblings are so annoying”, or “you’re so lucky”. Different people say it in a variety of different ways, but every form has the same meaning: being an only child is so easy and perfect. People are always talking about the cons of being the younger sibling, the older sibling, or more predominantly, the middle child.

But being an only child is far from perfect. While I am able to entertain myself, I still often get lonely. I don’t have any pets. I’m the center of attention, but that also means that I’m held much more accountable for my actions (I can’t blame it on anything or anyone else). And if I’m in a situation where both my parents are angry, then I have absolutely no one to talk to. People with siblings inevitably have a thicker skin. When people talk about annoying siblings, I cannot relate. And if I complain about it, I get a “you just have to deal with it”. The cons of being the only child need to also be known.

However, these things are out of our control. In certain situations, you can control your height or weight; siblings are not one of those things. Even if you want a sibling, you’ll then have to convince your parents and if you got your wish, it’s goodbye to all the undivided attention. Despite anything I’ve said, I believe that we all should just accept the things out of our control, pros and cons alike. My advice to you is to embrace your family, no matter how many or how few siblings you have.


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