Do you know who taught Orville and Wilbur Wright the mathematics of flight? The mathematics that eventually led to them being pioneers in flight was taught to them by younger sister Katherine. In fact, when the brothers would travel Katharine watched over the bicycle shop, paying bills, depositing receipts, and eventually became their social interface with the world. She was one of the most important people in the lives of the Wright brothers.
Examining the Canoe attachment before first flight over water.
While most of us may not be so closely entwined everyday with our siblings, studies suggest that they are the ones who shape our lives more than anyone else, more than even our parents. A well-regarded Penn state university study says that by the time we are 11 years old, we have spent 33% of our time with a sibling, more time than we would spend with anyone else even with ourselves.
Siblings are tormentors and our co-conspirators, our protectors one minute and our rivals the next, our pride and envy simultaneously, our competitors and collaborators, all at the same time, the ones we imitate, emulate, follow and also lead and escort, our first playmates and lasting companions, with whom we build and break up seamlessly, with whom we share more than just a home and parents. They are with us before the spouses arrive and after the parents depart. They teach us to navigate our way in the real world. They keep our secrets and are co-confidants.
History is replete with siblings who have been achievers and have encouraged and egged each other to be the best they can be. This Raksha- bandhan we pay tribute to all siblings who supported each other through the good, the bad and the ugly to attain great success and feature some siblings who are giants in their own fields; celebrities, scientists and artists some of whom are household names while others who have worked quietly, away from the limelight.
Lata, Asha,Usha, and Hridaynath Mangeshkar. The music world would be a lot poorer without these legendary siblings. With movie script like lives, Lata and Asha have themselves also been the subject of many movies and stories. They have not just inspired one another but also inspired generations of music lovers and musicians.
The Mangeshkar siblings.
Venus and Serena Williams. Sisters first and rivals next, Venus and Serena have been on opposites sides of the net very often at international tennis tournaments. Venus was the first to break onto the international scene but Serena soon caught up and went on to do better. Serena admits that Venus keeps her on her toes more than anyone else as she (Serena) does not want her(Venus) to catch up.
Serena and Venus Williams.
Emily, Charlotte, Anne Bronte. The characters created by the Bronte sisters in their novels have been the inspiration for many. What many do not know is that the sisters first published poems under masculine pseudonyms because the world those days was not so accepting of women professionals. Their first self-published volume of poetry was under the names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.
Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte in a painting made by their brother, Branwell.
Raj, Shammi and Shashi Kapoor. If there was ever a set of siblings that had captured the star power all at once, it was these three. Extremely successful, each one had his own die-hard fan following and inimitable style that had the masses swooning over them.
Raj, Shammi and Shashi Kapoor
Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm. If the Kapoors starred in fairy-tales the Brothers Grimm created those tales. Famous around the world for Grimm’s Fairy Tales, a classic collection of folk songs and folktales, theirs was the first ever collection of such stories and is popular even today. Generations of children have grown up listening and reading these stories like the story of siblings, Hansel and Gretel, who together outwitted a wicked witch.
A stamp immortalizing Hansel and Gretel.
Jan Tinbergen and Nikolaas Tinbergen. Where there are fairy tales can science be far behind? Einstein had said that “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy-tales…” While no one knows what it was that made Jan and Nikolaas who they are, they are two illustrious siblings who have won the Nobel Prize. In 1969, Jan Tinbergen received the first Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, often mistakenly referred to as the "Nobel prize in economics." Four years later, Jan's younger brother, Nikolaas (Nico), too, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Brad and Doug Pitt. The mere mention of Brad may be enough to set the box-office counters ringing world-wide but his celebrity does not cast a shadow on his lesser known but equally successful brother Doug. A successful businessman helming several ventures, many of them in Africa, he also was named the first ever Goodwill ambassador to Tanzania.
From buoying your flights to being the wind beneath your wings for your flights of fantasy, siblings are a huge part of all our lives, famous or not. They are our 3 A.M. calls, our shoulders to cry on, our pats on the back and our first friends. They are our safe havens, safety nets and go-to guys. Marriages may be made in heaven but there is no buddy like a brother or sister. Celebrate them, celebrate yours!