Rakhi – A celebration of bond
Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan – I was woken up today early on a Saturday morning by my daughter. She was insisting that it was a “Shadi” (marriage) day and wanted me to get ready. What she really meant was “Rakhi” or “Raksha Bandhan”. To her mind of 5 years, it didn’t mattter if it was a marriage or anything else. It was celebration nevertheless and a moment to cheer.
My early memories of this Festival of India have been of the money that I had to shell out to my sisters (money that wasn’t mine anyway – borrowed from my parents). In lieu of the token money, I was rewarded with sweets (peda – a favourite, Indian delicacy), a prayer and a thread of bond from my sisters.
Related Festival: Gudi Padwa- The Maharashtrian New Year
And how excited I used to feel proudly displaying my hand with the rakhi to my friends – all in different shapes, colour and beautifully designed.
Rakhi is a celebration of a bond – between a brother and a sister. (Lately, the trend has started getting extended to other relationships such as cousins, uncles etc.). The bond is built on a promise of support and protection by the brother to a sister from all that is evil.
This day used to bring all my family and friends together with all of us getting ready, dressing in traditional Indian attire – like it or not. My sisters tied Rakhi while performing Aarti and sweetening the mouth with Peda. Back then, a five-ruppee note used to suffice as a gift.
Rakhi had interesting connotations as well within the Indian society; like boys running away from girls they wouldn’t want to tie Rakhi from (ha ha ..what if..) and in some cases like mine where all friends were my sisters…and in turn my sister (no scope..at all).
I cherish those moments and celebrate every year with the same zeal remembering my own sisters, cousins and few friends whom I used to tie rakhi from my early childhood.