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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan or the bond of protection is primarily observed to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters where the sister ties a rakhi or sacred knot around the wrist of the brother and he vows to protect her through life. The brother could be related by blood or be a muh bolah one. My post is about the later.

There are several historical mentions of the rakhi-bond; as a kid, I read about Krishna-Draupadi, Karnavati, the queen of Chitor and Humayun, the Mughal emperor. There was a time when it meant something. But I have become a cynic over the years.

A psychoanalysis session might yield the following as a causal event of my attitude:

A boy (A) in my class had a crush on a girl(B), everyone knew about it - including the
girl. On Rakhi, the greatest fear of a boy was to get a rakhi from someone for whom he had a romantic predisposition. Many skipped school  on that particular day for the same. However, A was not so fortunate. When classes got over, B got hold of A and tied a rakhi round his wrist. I saw his face. He waited until she turned her back, took it off, threw it in the ground and stomped on it like a maniac, with anger so real that it hurt me even to watch him.

Many girls have resorted to this technique. When a certain undesirable wooer tries to seek affection, the girl waits till rakhi to crush all his dreams. I am a woman but I feel it is foul play. I can understand the fear can be real for some who know the havoc unrequited love can create, but trying to extinguish feelings by spray painting a pseudo-relation? You can't force anyone to love or unlove. This age old ceremony became an arrangement for emotional castration. Worse still, I saw a rakhi brother and sister date- something equivalent to incest- at east in my books.

I am not a syngenesophobic, but I hardly ever call anyone my 'brother' until I really mean it. I have tried calling one of my very old friends,'Dada'( elder brother in Bangla) on several occasions, because I see him that way. But I have noticed he feels offended by it and protests vehemently. I will never know if he dislikes it because of the age connotation or because he thinks it makes him feel like a asexual being. It is the tragedy of a generation that has seen sex appeal being overrated in media and probably thinks sex is the only way to connect.

Whatever the reason- my only supplication is - girls, please don't use a rakhi as a protection from the one you are tying it to- it disrespects the sentiments associated with it. And boys (not men- they know)- don't try too hard to capitalize on your sex appeal- there are a lot of relations worth more than that.


sangram said...

Well said - I absolutely agree with your logical interpretation - and I have never been convinced about all the craze in celebrating rakhi. Tying strings had different meaning to it - and to me it was almost like the concept of strengthening the blood relation just by performing an act - blood brother "Act" where you can drink each others blood - and then for Rakhi, where you tie a string as if you wanted to forcefully tie a knot between the DNA's -
my personal feeling - if you really want to be a protector - you are a protector from birth - its not that you will only protect your sister or sister's for that manner - but you can protect anyone/everyone. Your bravery will always be intact and need not be re-established by tying knots all around your hand (e.g. i have seen guys with 10-15 rakhis on one hand - which basically means he will protect all 15 of those) and then you see him the first one to back off when danger knocks on the door.

great post !!

Amitabha said...

Groovy. Keep on writing and let me keep on visiting your blog.