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Home > Discover Mumbai > City LifeStyle > RAKSHA BANDHAN

 RAKSHA BANDHAN  

RAKSHA BANDHAN - What Does It Mean To You? 

"Bind us together Lord; Bind us together with Love;

Bind us together Lord; Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken..."

The Day celebrates the love of a brother for his sister. On this day a sister ties colourful threads known as Raakhi on her brother's wrist as a pledge of her love and faith in him while the brother promises to protect her against evil influences.

Let us find out what Raksha Bandhan means to the common man in Mumbai. According to Yatin Hembade, who is a computer geek, Raakhi is a festival of 'protection personified'. He says, " In my village we tie a Rakhi to our own cattle. A little boy can tie a Rakhi to a big boy who is acting as a guardian for him." Liberal in his thinking, he also feels that it's more of the 'protection thing' than the generally known 'brother-sister-thing.'

For Prashant Malaviya, a Marketing Team Consultant, Raksha Bandhan holds a lot of importance in his life. He quips dogmatically, "Raakhi is more of an excuse for a social gathering than a cultural event. You see it's like this, earlier Raksha Bandhan was a national holiday and now it is not; so the actual traditional significance of it has reduced. Personally speaking it is a very special day for me. I wait for my sister's Raakhis with enthusiasm. You see this feeling has been inculcated within us since childhood." Deepa George is excited by the gifts sisters get at Raakhi, "It's a wonderful way of expressing your love for a sibling," she says.

This is one festival, which young teenage boys dread. Obviously, who would want a beautiful girl, come upto you and tie a 'sister-thread' ? It is definitely a day of terror for the young boys aspiring to make new girlfriends and not new sisters ! Says Dev a class 12 student, "I would bunk college or just stay indoors the whole day - do anything to avoid 'The Horrifying Wristband'." For Roma, a class 11 student, it's an instrument of defence and safety, "I would tie a Raakhi to a guy who is after my life and unavoidable. It's the best alternative, though it's not so cool!"

Raksha Bandhan is one of the million cashing opportunities for the Indian commercial market. You could enter any classy store during Raakhi time and find yourself intimidated with suggestions - from the sales people - hammering you with advice on what gift would be ideal for your sister! Every Brand will have it's "Raksha Bandhan Collection": The Raakhi Special Collection Of Hats, Pets And Furniture; The Raakhi Special Dinner, The Raakhi Special Shoes Sale, or even The Raksha Bandhan Special TV Show !! However irrelevant it may sound, people do watch these special bulletins with family and kin and buy all the goodies for their beloved sisters. Brother O brother!

Sailesh Pathak a family physician by profession feels that Raakhi is afestival for the hypocrites of society, "Contemporary society has forgotten the essence of Raksha Bandhan. It is disappointing but true. The true spirit of this ritual is lost in the list of incidents where a sister is not accepted in her own family after a bad marriage! Infact from a feminist perspective it is an irrelevant proceeding. With the latest self-help and defence techniques, women of today are capable of handling any situation by themselves with or without brothers! Tie a Raakhi or not - be a true brother - not just a dumb liturgic!"

To conclude here's what appeared in one of the ads in last years Times Of India's Raksha Bandhan Special Messages section - Addressed to the Prime Minister it said, " Respected Mr. Bachelor Prime Ministerji, No solution for Population Control ? Try popularising Raksha Bandhan Day! " How ever I too personally feel that - so what if Friendship Day and Valentine Day are so upmarket and 'in'; Raksha Bandhan too has it's share of goodies - after all it's the only time when your brothers actually bend down to touch your feet, asking for your blessings and the only time when they actually dont' fight with their sisters instead give them gifts in return! Well, I would'nt argue on that!

By : Kamakshi Vyas

 

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