Raksha Bandhan - The Knot Of Love!
There is something in festivals that brings back memories of childhood and fills you with nostalgia. Raksha Bandhan transports me right back to times long long ago, when as a teenager, in school, any festival which was not a holiday was a chance to show off our creativity to people we would like to impress. I have celebrated Rakhi over the years, but school was something else, when a friend and I decided that we would MAKE our own rakhis and blow everyone over.
Not that rakhis were not available to buy then. But when I go to the market now, I see the stalls flooded with myriad hues and sizes of rakhis, some too big for any wrist. This urges me to think how the festival has changed over the years, and how it should change with the times. More youngsters want to show off their capabilities to their friends, especially in terms of money. It is less about creativity now and more about the haves and have nots. Maybe it is a good idea if we encourage our children to make their own rakhis rather than buying from the market place. Here are two easy ways you could help your child to make a rakhi:
Get your child some satin strings. Knot a few satin strings of different colours at one end and braid them to make a thread rakhi. Decorate with beads or sequins.
You may guide your child to wind a satin string around his/her four fingers quite a few times. Tie a knot in the middle after removing the wound string from the finger. Cut at both ends. Take an old brush and back brush all sides of the resulting pom pom to loosen the strings and fluff it up. Decorate with sequins and stick on a satin ribbon of contrasting colour.
Even though the practice goes back to the Draupadi- Krishna legend, where he declared Draupadi as his sister when she tied a strip of her sari around his bleeding hand, Maybe it also is time to rethink this as a gender specific practice. The age when only a brother could protect a sister is gone. Why cant an elder sister be a protector? Why cant rakhi be another friendship band? I dream of the day when everyone will tie a rakhi on everyones hand, renewing bonds of friendship and promises of love, protection and friendship in times of adversity for all.