Brothers and designers for their own successful brands, Mohsin and Umar Sayeed recall their first memories of each other, the time they stole plants, and how they are poles apart despite being in the same profession
What’s your first memory of each other?
Mohsin: I can’t recall my first memory. We are only two years apart and were together all the time. He was more docile and silent, and I was batameez, boisterous, and headstrong.
Umar: He’s younger than I am, so I obviously have a lot of memories of him. He’s always been very naughty. He had very strong likes and dislikes, and was very persistent in what he wanted.
What is the craziest thing you have done together?
Mohsin: We were very naughty kids. While our parents would take
an afternoon nap, we would climb up trees, run into alleys,
and try to catch birds.
Umar: Stealing plants.
What did you get punished for the most as a child?
Mohsin: I got punished a lot because I was very headstrong, always talking back and not respecting authority at all. My father was a professor, he was all about doing the right thing and being proper. I used to roam around barefoot and abba used to tell me to wear chappals. At the age of five, I would say “but I don’t like it!” I was always defiant and kind of a problem child for my parents.
Umar: I got into trouble only because of him.
If you could only wear one piece of clothing for the rest of your life, from the other’s closet, what would it be?
Mohsin: I have always worn his embroidered kurtas, and would love to wear them forever. Now I have my eyes on his shawl collection, but of course they are very precious and I do not want to ruin them. He’s very organised and always tells me to take whatever I want from his closet, but to put it back properly — and I never do that.
If you could swap places with each other, what’s the first thing you would you do?
Mohsin: I wouldn’t want to swap places. I am happy and content with my life, I’ve got great friends and family. I wouldn’t like to swap places with anyone.
Umar: I would be less vocal.
What is the one thing you love about your brother?
Moshin: His generosity, as he is extremely large-hearted! People take advantage of this quality but the good thing about him is that he never changes.
Umar: He’s very passionate and he has a lot of empathy towards life. A lot of things bother me too, but if anything bothers him he’s very vocal and actually does something about it. He’s not like me who has a “choro” attitude, he doesn’t let go.
If you are fighting with each other, how do you make up?
Mohsin: We don’t make up, we just start talking. Initially we won’t talk the first, second, third time, but then the fourth time we will.
Umar: Actually we don’t make up, we’ll just start talking.
What is one secret talent your brother has, that you wish you did too?
Mohsin: His aesthetic sense.
Umar: He’s a people person.
Which fictional character is your brother most like?
Mohsin: It’s very difficult to pinpoint a fictional character, but he’s definitely larger than life.
Umar: Not fictional, but he’s like the rebel writer Ismat Chugtai.
How are your personalities similar?
Mohsin: We have shared aesthetics, which come from our creatively inclined parents. Apart from shared aesthetics, we do not have much in common, we’re actually poles apart.
Umar: To the world we might seem different, but because of our upbringing, our core values are the same.
Describe your brother in three words:
Mohsin: Generous to a fault and gullible.
Umar: He’s very empathic towards everything, passionate, and learned.
I can’t live without my brother because…
Mohsin: Because he’s my brother.
Umar: He is the shor in my life! It’ll be too quiet without him.