Growing up, I didn't get along very well with my elder brother. In addition to the usual sibling rivalry (fights and insults), I was always compared to him by everyone including teachers (we went to the same school) and parents because he was great at studies, athletics and socializing (literally a model child every parent wants to have). I on the other hand wasn't that great - average grades (which was considered to be very low here), barely 2-3 friends and not a lot of interest in sports. So this made me hate him even more and I never talked with him much, preferring to spend time with my cousins instead.
Time went on and we became more mature and the fights stopped. He joined a good university and went abroad for his masters. Now we barely even speak with each other (2-3 times a month, that too mostly over WhatsApp texts). We only speak about my future plans and nothing much else. Whenever he visits home, he feels like a complete stranger. I don't have any sort of emotion towards him as I do with my cousins. Just to put that into perspective, I feel more sad when my cousins (whom I can visit anytime I want) leave rather than my brother who can only visit once a year. I want to have a normal sibling relationship with him and have the same family bond I have towards my cousins. What steps should I take to improve the relationship?
I'm 20 and he's 23 if that helps
My main goal is to converse with him more frequently (once a week?)
I've tried to engage in topics such as sports, music, work (etc.) but I can never manage to carry on the conversation. I've tried watching sports with friends, attending parties, going out and exploring but those simply don't appeal to me. Believe me I want partake in those activities too but I've tried a lot and those simply aren't for me. Basically, we have nothing in common
We're extremely casual with our cousins, joking about friends and relationships and my cousins act as a 'bridge' between both of us. I want the same to happen directly between us. My parents also say I'm distant from him and he's made a lot of attempts to reach out too, but there's something nagging in my mind that prevents me from opening up to him