Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan is a festival that symbolizes the celebration of sibling love and mutual respect. When I was a little kid, I remember how we would all dress up well and wait to tie rakhi on the wrist of our younger brother. He would patiently sit through the entire ritual that started with covering his head, then we would tie a rakhi on his right wrist after applying a teeka on his forehead (ensuring that the teeka was really long and vivid), doing his aarti and feeding him mithai. He would then give the money that mum had helpfully put in his palm for us. 🙂 Being the youngest in the family, he would demand a gift as well and hence was also given some money. 🙂 Lots of fun and camaraderie marked the day and of course, tasty food as well. Then there were those special occasions when we spent rakhi with my maternal uncle and their family. More joy and festivity as mum could tie rakhi to her brother in person and we could do the same to our cousins. It also meant more gifts for us sisters. Overall, a feel good day that cemented the mutual love and respect between siblings.
Yes, those were the days when social media was not active. When every festival was not looked at from the parochial prism of patriarchy. It is quite sad that probably the only festival that celebrates the joyous bond of sibling love is subjected to so much vitriol on social media every year. Seriously, what is wrong if a brother feels protective towards his sister and vice versa? I cherish and welcome it. I do the same for him as he is my kid brother and will always be.
There are some who feel that they want to tie a rakhi to their sisters, I say why not? It’s a wonderful gesture. By all means, all rituals must evolve to accommodate our growing sensibilities and emotions. But to make fun of them or call them names only reflects the intellectual bankruptcy of those who are deeply unhappy. Wit can never be substituted by inflammatory digs. As a friend told me on Twitter today, perhaps festivals are days when dyspeptic people run amok. Now moving on to putting better filters on my Twitter account.
That rant over, I had a lovely Raksha Bandhan yesterday. Ended up making pasta for lunch instead of puri sabzi because the younger son wanted it. I tell you, we are all nuts. Did make panjiri, a prasad more synonymous with Janmashtami in the evening as a celebratory sweet. Here’s panjiri recipe link. The younger son also tied a rakhi to Coco because how could one brother be left out? 🙂 Coco accommodated the gesture for a few hours.
Missed not tying the rakhi in person to my own brother and cousins but had lovely long chats with them. Have you noticed how birthdays and festivals are so special because we make the effort to catch up with those who matter in our lives? Perhaps that is the entire point of having such days.
So do you celebrate Raksha Bandhan? How did it go for you?
Featured pic courtesy: By Dipak Shelare on Shutterstock