Less rivalry, more revelryBeyoncé has Solange and Kendall has Kylie. But did you know that Karma has Kundoon?
If you’re reading this, one solid guess is: you have a sibling or two, your parents had a favourite one and it wasn’t you. Even worse, the rivalry is so deep the only time you see each other is during festivals, that too to make sure your mother doesn’t blackmail you into attending another family gathering. Welcome to adult sibling rivalry, the official term for sort of hating the people genetically closest to you on earth — and, no worries, it’s mutual. Don’t ask your doctor about it. There is no cure. But in a world where Liam and Noel Gallagher’s rivalry ended with the brothers heading to the court, James and Dave Franco are living it up as a happy-go-lucky pair of cool actors and giving us #siblinggoals. Thanks to Karma and Kundoon Shakya, the same hashtag can be seen on Nepali Instagram.
A renowned actor, everyone knows who Karma is. Right from theatre fanatics to movie lovers, he managed to become an instant fan favourite with his movie Sano Sansar. On the contrary, Kundoon is a fresh face. Also an actor, his interest is in theatre and in music videos.
Sitting in the lobby of their family hotel, the brothers are discussing the rehearsal plans of the play they’re supposed to work on together. So does Kundoon feel overshadowed by his older brother? “Not really. It’s actually worked to my advantage, having him in the same field. I get to broaden my contacts. But people have expectations from me since they know me as ‘Karma’s brother’. That sometimes gets to me because I’m afraid I may not be able to live up to that expectation,” he says.
Even with 12 years between them, the brothers are more like friends. But what really is the best thing about having each other? Kundoon says, “The best thing about having him is being able to share things, especially clothes.” Karma says he’s cool with it “but sometimes I get annoyed because he wears a shirt I’ve been saving for a special event.” Aside from being a supplementing closet, Kundoon says that his older brother serves a higher purpose in his life—that of being a protective figure with similar interest in books, movies, music, and art. “He’s always there for me. Even when I was a kid, he used to take me to rehearsals and his shoots,” he says.
Ambivalence about our siblings is inevitable. But, as long as the balance between the love and the hate of them is at least 60/40, we can live with it. In the case of the Shakya brothers, the balance is a whopping 99/1, right from day one. “When he was born, I was in a boarding school in Darjeeling. I had no idea that my mother was expecting. So when I came home for vacation and saw her holding him, I was quite surprised,” says Karma, remembering the winter of 1998. “But the moment I met him, I fell in love with him. Since then, I’ve been taking care of him as his third parent.”
Despite spending their childhood days in boarding schools, they never felt distant. “We’d be together during vacations and most of our fond memories are from those days,” says Karma. “But I think our bond is closer than ever at present. We’ve done two plays together and that has played some part in it too. Conversations at the dinner table are easier now as we talk about our plans, not just among ourselves but with our parents as well,” says Kundoon.
For the dynamic duo that they are, they are each other’s biggest fans. “I admire his traveling spirit—unplanned trips, hiking, and trekking,” says Kundoon. Karma loves Kundoon’s zest to learn new things. “Also, I’m really glad he has developed a habit of reading,” Karma says. “I’ve finished three books this month,” says the excited Kundoon. Turns out Kundoon lost his phone and has time on his hands now. “He’s using my old phone,” says Karma. The banter ends with Kundoon elaborating on his plans to buy a new phone with his own money. And, does the plan include him signing movies? “I’m not into movies. For now, I’m sticking to theatre and music videos. They’re short and one can play with a lot of elements. And, I can always save up for a new phone,” he says.
“Had I not done theatre with dai for the first time and had instead done a movie, my life would’ve been completely different. Theatre taught me to be humble,” says Kundoon. The beaming older brother says, “Humility is what takes you far not in just this line of work but in any given career. I don’t mind asking him to work in our hotel. We wait on tables, do the dishes, and drive our guests to and from the airport. People come up to me and say, “you’re an actor, why are you doing this?” but I don’t really worry about validation.”
Weekender decides to play a game of sibling tag with the fun dyad—Karma and Kundoon. Below are some of the inside scoops we got to the horses’ mouths:
Who got in trouble the most as kids?
Who takes longer to get ready in the morning?
Who is more athletic?
Who is most likely to join the Army?
Who is the lazier one among the two?
Who is best at keeping secrets?
Who is the most talkative sibling?
Who has the best singing voice?
Who is more attractive?
Who has a bigger appetite?
Go watch the Sibling Tag video on Weekender’s official Instagram account @tkp_weekender