Today is “Rakhi” or as we call it in Gujarat “Raksha Bandhan” (‘Raksha’ means ‘protection’ and ‘Bandhan’ means ‘tie’ literally meaning “Bond of Protection”), a festival dedicated to all the brothers and sisters In India, symbolizing the love and emotional bond shared by them. Traditionally there are many things and rituals done on this day, but most important and very common is every sister ties a knot of sacred thread on brother’s wrist praying for brother’s health and prosperity in all aspects and on the other hand brother promises to protect and safeguard his sister from all the hardships, problems, obstacles and evil forces in whatever ways he can. ( And ofcourse brother gives sister some gifts ;) hehehe )
May be this tradition was developed when women used to be not so independent and used to be dependent on male counterparts for many things, and may not appear very relevant today but still I love the essence behind the festival. We so enthusiastically celebrate Valentine’s Day, Friendship day and Mother’s day and Father’s day, so may be this we can take as indianised way of celebrating Brother’s day for all the sisters and Sister’s day for all the brothers.
I remember last year, this day I was as depressed as I can be. I felt homesick, which normally I don’t, considering the fact that last 10 years I was on my own from the day I entered the university, then masters degree and then for career. But then that was the time anyhow I used to visit home at least once or twice a month for a weekend. And never ever I celebrated any festival alone away from family.
And last year it was the time when we shifted to Netherlands and it was just 2-3 months and it was not possible to make a trip to India. So on this day I felt homesick. I missed everyone so much that I almost cried.
Today while tying a knot on my dearest brother Viv’s wrist, I felt so happy and blessed to be with my family this time.