Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Rakhi

Today as I was speaking over the phone with my sister , she informed me that she has sent the rakhi and I should be receiving it soon.

I was left wondering about the power of that frail thread which could be stronger than the thickest of cable.

It must have been over a decade since I left the country. My sister’s rakhi chased me everywhere and not a year has passed when I haven’t received it.

Though my rakhis now are not as half flamboyant as they were before, yet they have elicited curious enquiries from co- workers and they have been fascinated with the history . one young boy in a train even squealed delightedly, “ Mom. Look at his friendship band.” He begged me to give it. He was willing to barter his toy car. Finally laughingly I had to part with my rakhi.

It is this riot of colors and the rich cultural heritage which makes our country so attractive to the western world. I can never forget the screaming british kids who felt like they were in a different world when they visited our laxminarayan temple in Manchester as part of their school project. One kid confessed that it’s a more exciting place than a church. I explained that both are places of worship and we shouldn’t see it that way. But the child was adamant. He wanted to pray here. its more fun!

Holi may be the most colorful of our festivals but rakhi still remains my favorite.

Rakhi bonds me to my sister. I was invariably bonded and roughed up in a tank in Holi.

When I was young , I loved to hate rakhi.

As a child I always had a grudge on God. He has given some unfair advantages to girls. During the festivals and marriages , I felt green with envy when I saw girls dressed prettily in traditional dresses with flowers in their hair and strutting around like peacocks. They naturally were the cynosure of everyone’s eyes. Our half pants and shirts were no match to their sartorial elegance.

Also I hated it when I had to part with some money for the Aarti as my sister happily went through the rituals. Rakhi and the bhaiya dooj brought out the meanest in me. I hated everything. Why should I give her money and not the other way round.

I used to wickedly hog sweets after sweets just to make up for the money. My parents had to bribe me with extra new clothes. I also made sure that my sister shopped hard to get the most flashy rakhi. Yet I used to be grumpy.

As I grew, I understood the love and the bonding and felt guilty about the way I thought. I even tried to make up by giving more expensive gifts.

But only until I saw the same fight between my nephew and his sister when they were young. Some things are timeless.

Today both have grown up and ,like us, are very close to each other.

When I told my sister that I am writing a post on Rakhi, she assumed it was on Rakhi Sawant. Even though many would be surprised , Rakhi Sawant is one of my favorites.
She has spunk. She knows how to reinvent herself. And she is unabashed and totally uninhibited.

While actresses with twice more talent than her languish , this girl hogs all the TRPs and the columns of news. That’s no mean achievement.
Way to go girl.

My salute ,then , to Rakhis of all colors, hues and kinds.

And to all the brothers and sisters of the world – Happy Rakhi.


  1. "Some things are timeless" - so true ! Very nicely written Sudhir.

  2. Thanks Varun. Your comments are priceless!

  3. Some nostalgic memories although I haven’t been tied one ….

  4. Indeed Amit. Thanks for your comments. Grateful.