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Raksha Bandhan is a huge deal on my husband’s side of the family. Where I come from, we are slowly making it our own. Here’s how.
As the children grew up and started acquiring their own sensibilities, the celebrations have toned down (more due to my own laziness, I will concede) but celebrate we did as I loved the sentiment.
This year, as the D Day approached, the brother and sister began their discussions, which really didn’t involve me, on how they would do it this year – son would tie the Rakhi to the daughter and she, in turn, would take the pledge to protect him. (He is 6’2” and she is petite but a tigress when challenged).
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They were breaking the moulds you see! The vestiges of patriarchy!
As a mother, I should ideally be proud. I confess, I was gobsmacked.
We don’t have to pan everything that is traditional. Do tinker with it as per the sensibilities of the time but to turn it completely on its head? Can we not celebrate a festival for the sake of rejoicing without the minute and detailed questioning of every single ritual?
I then threatened the husband that maybe I should tie it for him too and he for me as we were supposed to protect and look after each other too, after all. The taciturn He threatened violent Armageddon!
The children nonchalantly went about their ways.
She made a gift for her bro and yesterday we drove to the boy’s college.
As planned, he tied the Rakhi to his sister and she gave him the gift.
They were thrilled. I wasn’t. Maybe I am a fraud!
We drove around the campus and stopped at a convenience store.
Son knew I was restless.
“Mom, you want to check if they are selling Rakhis still?” He asked gently as daughter smiled understandingly.
I nodded vigorously.
To end this tale, we found one colourful thread, the sister tied it to the brother ’s wrist too, put tika, and a chocolate bar closed the sweet deal.
We were happy.
Because brother and sister have vowed to protect each other, as equals.
As two individuals, who care for each other deeply.
And that is enough for me.
Because traditions are beautiful.
And moulding them according to ever-changing times and sensibilities is even more beautiful
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Anupama Jain is an accidental late entrant, to the enigmatic world of writing.
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