Monday, August 10, 2009

Rakhi - take it a little close to your heart

Everyone in India has heard of Raksha Bandhan - A festival that celebrates the bond between a brother and sister, to put it in the simplest of terms possible. A beautiful band, crafted using color papers, glitter papers, colorful silk or cotton threads, called Rakhi is of immense significance on Rakhsha Bandhan day.

I like the entire idea of Rakhsha Bandhan and it dates back to my college days. This is the only day that all the guys really behaved like very responsible folks and it was surely a nice feeling to believe that your class mates ( boys especially) were the nicest in the planet..... Most Rakhsha Bandhan moments of my friends in the ladies hostel confirmed the fact that 'its nice to have a brother'. For the first time I saw the sentiment behind it and really started noticing that this festival was indeed very special to brothers and sisters.Till then Raksha Bandhan was totally unknown in my world.

Ever since, I have continued to give respect for this festival and held my best regards to the brother-sister relationship. Every fancy store and card shop in Bangalore was in celebration mode for the last one month - Friendship Day, Raksha Bandhan spirits were seen in the form of Friendship Bands and Rakhis. Schools and Colleges celebrated these two festivals better than the real world.

August 5th - Rakhsha Bandan. The general feeling in the air was good at work. There were a lot of brothers who were quite happy about the Rakhis they received and the sisters seemed happier because they received blessings and cash or gifts from their brothers. As I shut shop that evening, while I was still smiling and enjoying every minute of the cheer that this festival brought to life, I chanced to see a Rakhi lying on the road.

A bright red silk Rakhi, with a lot of yellow flowers on the face of the band gave it a lovely grand look. So, with the silica background on the road, the contrast could not be missed. Before the beauty of the Rakhi sank in, my temper blew out of proportion.

I was very annoyed at this unknown brother first for being so ridiculously careless with the precious Rakhi. Then it occurred,may be he missed it in a hurry to board the bus or didn't notice the thread was not tied tightly enough on his wrist. I could not forgive somehow. May be this brother would have felt worse than I did, but then the fact remains that he missed his precious Rakhi. I hate to think that he could have had a row with his sister and dropped the Rakhi purposely, though I must be honest enough to say that it did occur to my monkey mind. [ If you are scoring me bad here, I must take it!!!]

The other side of the coin also came into picture, when I cribbed about this to a very rationale minded friend. It could be that the girl dropped a new Rakhi on her way to give it to her brother. If that was the case, I am okay with that because she would have bought another Rakhi ( may not be the same kind and choice) and made her brother's day.

May be I am too sentimental and taking it more serious than the concerned parties, but then I guess it is okay when it comes to traditional values being held high. I am a very strong advocate of keeping up the pride that each country values.

To whomsoever it may concern::

Accept a Rakhi relationship and practice the tradition only if you can handle it with care, treat it with respect and keep it up.


Anonymous said...

Nice post...

You know I am very cynical about rakhis, probably because of my observations of people during my school and college days.

For many girls, a rakhi was a way for a girl to firmly indicate to a guy that she is not interested in him in "That" way. Many times, a boy would have a crush on a girl, and then spend the whole of Raksha bandhan dodging her, so as to avoid getting a rakhi.

It was pretty much a joke!

I am glad that people still have sentimental feelings towards Raksha Bandhan. And hopefully, my observations were just an aberration.

SG said...

I have to agree with Nishitak. I have seen both girls and guys take 'advantage' of this fact, unfortunately.

There are people who take it seriously and I appreciate the sentiment behind it. One of my friends abroad used to get his Rakhis by post from his sisters and it used to make him so happy.

So, I guess there are 2 kinds...wait...actually a 3rd kind too - those who remain neutral observers, like me :D.

While many south Indians religiously (pun unintended) celebrate Raksha Bandhan, I wonder how many them know the significance of kakka pidi, kannu pidi (celebrated with Pongal) and that it is a function where the women pray for the well being of their brothers and get presents for it (Pongal seeru).

SG said...

I thought of a totally optimistic scenario - what if the man/woman selling rakhis had dropped it while selling it either on the road (i.e. if they still do that) or from a vehicle while traveling to their place of business? In that case, noone's sentiment gets hurt :)

Dew Drop said...

Love you Sowmya for the very optimistic thought :) The kannu pidi concept is not known in most parts of the Tamil nadu. Will blog it on Kanu day :)

Nishita, thanks for the comment. This scene is commonplace in my college too... till date!!!!!

Somewhere in between, people started taking it too easy and Rakhis lost importance as with most other traditional beliefs.

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