Raksha Bandhan is an occasion to express one's love and affection for a sister or brother says Priyanka Sarang
Festivals are an unforgettable part of our life. Though the ways and means of celebrating festivals vary from place to place, elements like sweetmeats and involvement of family members are essential to complete the festivities. Indians usher in the festive season with the onset of the month of August. The first festival we celebrate is that of 'Raksha Bandhan' a celebration meant exclusively for brothers and sisters.
The day is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by siblings. The most exciting part of the day is when the sister ties a rakhi on her brother's wrist, prays for him and expects a gift in return. When we spoke to a few kids we realised that a lot of them live away from their siblings, but still haven't lost enthusiasm for the festival! Rakhis and gifts are now sent by courier and the person they most look forward to meeting at their doorstep is the courier guy or postman!
Rohan Gorivale from Waghe High School believes that the sweet memories associated with the festival make his relationship with his sister strong and friendly. "I enjoy teasing my sister Shrishti and pulling her braid when we fight. We both have fun together. Now whenever she comes home on her holidays, we make up for lost time and spend more time with each other, play our favourite games, go for picnics and so on, which is great fun."
A sibling's relationship is full of twists and turns and is definitely incomplete without fights, isn't it? 14-year-old Mithali Akarte from Guru Nanak English School says, "I used to fight with my brother about every tiny thing but now I miss him as we don't live together anymore. I am really unhappy as I won't be able to meet my brother Rushikesh this Raksha Bandhan, but I am definitely going to post a rakhi along with a gift."
Rashmi Gupta too lives away from her family and misses her brother Ankit. He means the world to her. She says, "Even though we stay apart, we keep in touch on a daily basis and share everything." Giving more details about her plans for the big day she adds, "I have planned to post a rakhi to my brother with a surprise gift for him."
Some of the girls we spoke to even attended rakhi-making classes to make special personalised rakhis for their brothers. But it's not just the girls who are sentimental, the boys were also pretty open about their feelings.
Sachin Joshi from Gyan Mandir Vidyalaya says, "I miss my sister and the fun we have together more than the celebrations. I miss the way we used to celebrate Raksha Bandhan. My sister would use red vermillion to put a tilak on my forehead then tie a rakhi and pray for my well-being and I would stuff her face with sweets! Now that she is not here she sends me special notes that boost my morale and keep me happy for days together."
As we spoke to siblings who stay away from each other, we realised that distance, space and time don't play any role in their lives. As they spoke to us they relived every emotion. 14-year-old student, Shobhika Agrawal from Kendriya Vidyalaya says, "My brother Shubhank doesn't stay in India anymore. But we are always connected through the phone. We talk to each other everyday. For this Raksha Bandhan I have planned something special for him."
She continues by adding an anecdote, "I have lots of sweet memories associated with my brother, but this one is my favourite. On one occasion, I had participated in a competition and was very nervous, but my brother Shubhank calmed me down. I went along to win the first prize and all the credit for that goes to my brother for helping me regain confidence." Her brother is clearly an important part of her life.
Siblings can be a great source of inspiration and can be people with whom one can share emotions and feelings with. As Shobhika says, "Distance plays no role whatsoever in this bond, what matters is how closely our hearts are attached."
RAKSHA BANDHAN IN HISTORY
The history of this festival goes way back to the medieval ages when the Rajputs were fighting against Muslim invaders. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan. Rakhi was considered as a divine symbol connected with the protection of sisters. In order to defend her people from the invasion of the Sultan Mohammad Khilji, Queen Padmini, the widow of the King of Chittor, sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. This touched Humayun who accepted the rakhi and made Queen Padmini his sister and at once started off with his troops to defend the Queen. But by the time he reached, Chittor was already conquered and Queen Padmini had committed jauhar along with other 1,30,000 women.