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Originally Published on August 21, 2010
On the Facebook page of Indian Fusion, we recently conducted a poll. We posted this question “ What does rakhi mean to you?” and here’s a glimpse of some of the answers we got. Some answers will bring a smile to your face, some will touch a cord somewhere, while some will have you rolling in the aisles!
The first two answers we had were “ Drama” and “ Full entertainment. Full drama”. This had me perplexed. I was thinking of what the world has come to. While I was busy lamenting the loss of the sanctity of rakhi, a soul named Tanay Sukumar opened my eyes to the reality. I awoke from my slumber when I read what he had written- “Rakhi Sawant ya Raksha Bandhan ki rakhi?” Hahaha! So, here in India, I thought, the first thing that comes to our mind when we say “Rakhi” is not “Raksha Bandhan the festival”. Rather, its “Rakhi Sawant the phenomenon”! I couldn’t stop laughing at this comedy of sorts for quite sometime! And I’m sure my dear reader, you must have had a good laugh too!! Rakhi Sawant has become such an all-pervading occurrence in our daily lives that its really an uphill task to disengage her or her antics from our conscience!
Coming to “Raksha Bandhan the festival”, Prince Jain felt that “Raksha Bandhan is the day when you realise that there are some people in your life you never notice. But they are always the closest and you can’t live without them. You tend to run around others taking them for granted. Raksha Bandhan for me is pure love for my sis.” How true! How sweet! How touching! Some other poignant replies were “A token of love for each other” and “ A day when you take a lot of blessings from a woman who loves you as much as your mother”. Spot on!
No matter what age we live in, the one thing that has survived the abrasion of time is the brother-sister bond, which remains as pure, as wholesome as ever. Raksha Bandhan is not just a day where the sister ties a thread on her brother’s wrist and gets a gift in return. In that thread, in that act of tying it on her brother’s wrist, is hidden the love and adulation she feels for her brother but just doesn’t feel the need or gets the time to express it. The brother too, on his part, silently vows to protect and care for his sister for as long as he breathes. And this is where we should be utterly proud of our culture. Because no culture in the world places so much importance or showers so much attention on this particular relation.
But before I conclude, there is another interesting aspect of Rakhi which was brought to my notice by Sudhir Jain. He brought out the silent feelings, sufferings and emotions of a large part of the male populace by proclaiming “Rakhi pe saare guys ki watt lagti hai”!! Hahahaha!! He must have been referring to the hefty amount of money brother’s shell out for buying their sisters a gift. Or he might as well have been referring to the trend which has caught the fancy of quite a handful of the girls- the practice of tying a Rakhi on a wayward guy’s hand just so as to save yourself from his advances and make it clear to him tha you have only “sisterly” feelings for him. Lol.
I’ll end it here by making one last observation of the wonder, the bliss, the charm, the joy that we call the “brother-sister bond”. No matter how much they fight all through the year, no matter how much they tease each other, no matter how much they pull each other’s legs, they’ll always come back home to find solace in each other’s arms. Its just pristine, unconditional love that hides behind these endearing and adorable acts.
Delhi Technological University