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Family Ties

Family Ties

Issue 58 July 2009

Cousins Osama and Hassan are family by chance, but friends by choice. They reveal a few marauding childhood antics that brought them closer together.


Hassan and I are the only two boys in the family. He is three years older than I am, and so he’s been through everything before me. We like the same music, the same movies, and share similar interests. We have mutual friends. Whenever something comes up I always ask him first, and he advises me honestly. Though I would like to say I make my own decisions, his guidance is crucial. I am currently at the same college that Hassan went to, and actually I am doing the same course in IT as he did too, so you can see how much he influences me.

 I have fond memories of going bike-riding together with Hassan when I was younger. Boxing too, when Amir Khan exploded on the scene we wanted to follow his footsteps, and I remember bare-knuckle boxing with Hassan in our garden. Hassan is more of a daredevil than I am, and has got into quite a few accidents crashing his bike into things. Fortunately he’s never broken anything! I’m a lot more cautious by nature.

 Hassan is really easy to get on with, and has always been there for me. It’s good to have someone to fight my corner for me, though I probably never express that to him. I like his clothes, many of which I used to get as hand-me-downs. However, since I am taller than him now, I guess I’ll have to start investing in my own stuff!

 Hassan is quieter than I am, more reflective. I like to joke that it comes with age. He keeps me on the straight: if I get into any trouble, he’ll sit me down and have words. I don’t mind, because I value his opinion. Growing up, we lived close together, but now he’s left for university I don’t see him as much. Still I know if I call he’ll make time for me, and if ever I’m having a bad day Hassan helps me lighten up. I know I’m guaranteed a good time in his company. Even when we grow up (has to happen sometime!) and get married one day, nothing can change our relationship: I am confident we’ll always share a close bond.


Osama may have shot up recently but he’ll always be my kid cousin, and I try to look out for him. If he ever has a problem I’ll try to sort it. Though there is an age gap between us it’s never apparent in conversation; I suppose it gets less important as you get older and Osama and I are usually on  the same level. Though our homes are close by, both of our lives have become busier of late – but we always make time for each other, and he’s even visited me at university. Recently I have become a little stronger in my faith, and so I try to influence Osama positively. I know he’s a good guy and we all find our own way.

 We like doing the same activities: cycling, boxing, and of course we both love to eat. Osama is my partner in crime when we cheat at Monopoly. We enjoy contesting each other on the PS3 too, but Osama is a really sore loser! He’s such a smooth talker, too: he’ll come up with a variety of excuses about why his score’s lower than mine. It’d be faster for him to just accept the truth: I am better than he is – simple. He’s a little vainer about his looks than I am, although I joke that he has no reason to be.

 I have so many fond memories of messing about with Osama growing up. I remember one time in Rawalpindi, when I was 10, we were flying a kite and it got tangled up with some power cables, and when the lines touched we managed to blow a 240 volt transformer. Of course, we each blamed the other when we weren’t very popular in the neighbourhood!

 Much to the exasperation of our families, Osama and I have forever been a little mischievous. We have always been fond of playing with firecrackers, and there are many hair-raising stories about our pyrotechnic pranks – most of which are true! Boys will be boys, is usually our defence. That and making a quick getaway. As the only boys of a similar age we were thrown together, but it’s always been obvious we get along. Osama is fun to be around, and wherever life takes us, our friendship will never change.

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