Nature Vs Nurture is an ongoing debate in Psychology circles for a long time. Even after studying hundreds of siblings, twins, triplets etc, they have not been able to decide whether nurture dominates nature or if it is the other way round. In lay man’s language this means that your behavior in a certain circumstance is influenced by your inherited genes or as others argue, by the way you have been brought up or by your present circumstances or similar other factors. For this purpose, they have looked into similarities and contrasts in the behavior of twins separated over years.

Whatever it is, I experienced a very clear demonstration of genes over environment.

We are 4 sisters, ranging from late 60’s to early 90’s, all married, at the ages of 12,16,20 and 24 respectively to ‘propah’ men who expected a mature, civilized behavior from their spouses in public. The eldest lives in US with her children, two of us in Bangalore and the youngest in Mysore (at the time of narration). Once we, the two Bangalore ones, decided to visit the one in Mysore. We went by train and arrived at their place by ‘rick’ at lunch time. Since they were also leaving for US shortly, the house was being run on the barest minimum. So, as soon as our brother- in law saw us, he left for the market to buy the needed items leaving us three sisters at home.

The hostess sister went into the kitchen to prepare lemonade for our parched throats, while we two were relaxing in the drawing room. The lemonade was brought out and served. She went back to the kitchen perhaps to get some snacks. The lemonade looked very inviting with a layer of undissolved crystals of sugar at the bottom of the glass (Some meticulous ladies use powdered sugar to make lemonade).

After I gulped down the drink, my index finger was itching to reach down the glass to the sediment and lick it up. But, I held myself back as I was scared what my elder sister might think of me, a 70 year old reaching for the sugar in the bottom of the glass. Just as I was about to place the glass on the peg table demurely, what do I see? My sister, three years older to me, was reaching her fore finger deep into the glass to scoop the sugar out and licking it! I let off a big guffaw and picked up my glass in sheer relief to follow suit. The youngest one, wanting to know the reason for my mirth, came out of the kitchen. Yes, you guessed right. She had her tilted glass in her left hand and with the index finger of her right hand, she was scooping the sugar out and licking her finger with relish!

Now I was dead sure that if a glass of lemonade with undissolved sugar sediment were to be offered to my 90 year old sister at the other end of the world, what her response to it would be. There is no need for a DNA test. Nature would beat nurture at least in our case !


22 responses »

  1. Eva Bell says:

    Hi Vimala!
    Just read “Chips of the same block” and had a hearty laugh. Probably more to do with what we practise as children, rather than our genes. Old habits never die. They just surface unbidden from time to time.

    • vimala ramu says:

      Yes, Eva, coming from a well known doctor, I have to accept that it may be more due to imitation than genes. Thanks for your taking time to read it.

  2. gora sarkar says:

    How innocent and honest of you, Vimala Madam! This is just the kind of thing I’d do myself. I appreciate your childlike behaviour.

  3. Sneha says:

    Hello Vimala,

    Very nostalgic and as always, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.


  4. Vimala Madam,
    One can only look at “those” days with lot of wistful nostalgia, because large families are simply NOT there today! I myself come from a large family of 8, and hence could relate well to what you narrated. Nice!

    • vimala ramu says:

      Thank you Vimala and Mr Om. If one were to enjoy such episodes, one can do even with small families. I think it is the attitude that matters. This episode which I mentioned happened two months back.

  5. vimala madon says:

    sweet reminiscences! We are three sisters who keep remembering events in our past and laughing our heads off at the memories!

  6. Sonal Shree says:

    How sweet! Even I like gulping down the last bit of sugary stuff. 🙂

  7. Tanuja Chatterjee says:

    Dear Vimaladi!
    This is an interesting read where nature freely reins! You are a true master in transforming usual ordinary tendencies into extraordinary masterpieces!

  8. vimala ramu says:

    Shail, did you find my write up sweet because it had sugar in the dregs?!!

  9. Dear Vimala,

    Ha! Ha! Your write-up was so sweet. Loved it. If only I had some sisters with whom I could share this kind of stuff…

  10. Mira Pawar says:

    Lovely read Vimala! Enjoyed reading it throughly.

  11. Beyniaz says:

    Your kind of DNA testing would be so much faster! 🙂 Nice read, Vimala.

  12. isabel says:

    After reading your writings it always…

    >always feels fresh and renewed just like after the first April shower…and most of all FREE! & HAPPY like a bird empowered and energized to fly/ roam the vast blue sky!

    Thank you…

  13. Shernaz says:

    Very enjoyable.

  14. Enjoyed reading as always. 🙂

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