Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rakhis- strings of love.

My earliest memories of rakhis, are those, which were sent by my neigbour, who  is a very close family friend.She would, very lovingly choose the most delicate rakhis & send it across by post for me & my brother year after year without fail.The envelope would also enclose a letter written by her addressed to both of us.Her handwriting is  lovely as ever . It is something, which compliments rakhis sent by her.

Inspired by her,I began by sending rakhis to my paternal cousins, as they pined for them. Moreover ,they had no sister.Also,I greedily awaited   the gifts I will be showered with for tying them.I make it clear, that, I am just accepting their generous presents to please them & nothing more ! It always pays to raise one's esteem in the eyes of others .I have kept up this twin tradition - of sending rakhis & my pretense .

My own brother has never shown any enthusiasm for rakhis but, now, he demands rakhis for his daughter.I also send across many rakhis so that they can be forwarded to the members of his extended family.But my brother seems to believe, that members should visit & get rakhis tied to their wrists .This is akin to the thought that  the thirsty must seek water as the well cannot walk towards  those who are dehydrated.Moreover,having lived abroad, for a considerable period,he is skeptical about postal deliveries in time.

The story of Draupadi being protected by Krishna during vastraharan by Dushasana  in the epic Mahabharata is one of the most enduring tales of rakshabandhan.Krishna is only a word of mouth brother ( muhbola bhai ) of Draupadi but when his finger is injured & starts bleeding,it is Draupadi ,who tears a corner of her Pitambari sari & ties it around his bleeding finger.His own sister,Subhadra, keeps  searching for an appropriate piece of cloth as she opines, that  she cannot tear her silk sari to be used as a bandage.Krishna vows to protect Draupadi & makes her sari so infinitely long that Dushasana is tired of disrobing her & lets her go.This katha, also illustrates that only a gesture,  is enough to build a relationship that lasts for a lifetime.It need not be based only on birth.

I believe, that one can tie a rakhi to anyone -girl or boy.Nowadays,I send rakhis to boys & girls alike.When we no longer abide by gender stereotypes in so many fields, ,the same needs to be followed in festivals like Rakshabandhan as well.

In my erstwhile office wherein,I was employed,men used to run for cover during the festival as they lived in perpetual fear of having to dole out a gift  to every female who would tie a rakhi.I would have preferred my clerical staff to do their office duties diligently in return of tying rakhis but that would be like asking for the moon ! In the work place, there is seldom anyone to protect us from overwork -inspite of rakhis even for that day !

For the last two to three years ,I have brought rakhis from Non Govermental Organisations, as I believe, that at least, on some occasions,I must do some selfless work.This makes it a double whammy- I earn brownie points for myself & NGOs are able to showcase the skills of their  physically as also mentally challenged members .I feel, that I must do maximum philanthropic work with minimum efforts ! I have also convinced my friends, to buy rakhis from such orgainzations as I want them also to feel good as well. I have also started using rakhi envelopes specially brought out for Rakshabandhan by the Department of Posts.They are reasonably priced & save the expense of sending rakhis by speed post or courier .

In this age of retail bonanza,I recently received an SMS about a haircut for a cute sister at a plush salon for Rakshabandhan.One also comes across various advertisements which sell various kinds of rakhi hampers complete with tilak,aarti thali, mithai etc.Even chocolate boxes are sold in place of mithai for the new age siblings.Surely, but shortly,there will be virtual rakhis in a make believe  world - isn't it ? But let's hope,that the simple thread of love is able to endure it all .Then only will  relationships thrive &  get stronger  - among siblings,friends,etal.


Anujaa said...

well written, Vasu. I truly believe that the love between a brother and sister is one of the best.

As time goes, we forget what Rakhi is all about These days, it is not uncommon to see family get-together happening at the drop of a hat. During our childhood, special food was cooked only on special occasions,family outings was only to celebrate certain function.


shanthala said...

Well-written ! Made for an interesting read. Truly ,this festival is special for siblings ! Keep blogging !

meera said...

Nice one! Being out of India i miss all these festivals, you reminded me those old good days. The intimacy, respecting each relation, family gatherings all are the wonderful gifts by these festivals. I wish new generation should understand the importance of these rituals and persist them too.
Best regards,

Rainbow Hues said...

Nice post. Siblings are special people in life and cherished in a very special way. Thanks for reminding :)

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