Raksha Bandhan is the day, which, in many countries, symbolizes fraternal love, the bond between brothers and sisters. In the olden days, this festival also had a very patriarchal feel, as I’m sure it does in many parts of India even today. The sister ties a rakhi on the wrist of her brother (or brothers – as the case may be) and the brother is said to promise that he will protect his sister from all the evils in the world.
Noble, it is. But my question is, is this underlying sentiment pertinent in the world of today ? It does give the whole thing a very “macho’ish’” feel. It does portray the brothers as people who are invincible and the sisters as people who will need help from the brothers if the eventuality so presents itself. I personally think it is a little presumptuous when viewed in the context of the realities of the modern world.
To me, having been brought up an only child, the sibling relationship has always remained a mystery. To a great extent, The Nutty Siblings are the ones that taught me the facets of a sibling relationship, the finer aspects of this hugely extensive dynamic. I do realize, thanks to them, that siblings can drive each other nuts in a space of seconds and the very same siblings can join forces within the bat of an eyelid when faced with threat from another source. They’ve taught me that siblings fight for apparently no reason at all and they make it seem as though it is every sibling’s favorite pastime. They’ve taught me that the relationship between siblings runs very deep. They may fight, they may scream at each other, they may roll their eyes at each other, they may huff and puff, they may sulk over seemingly inconsequential things – but, at the end of it all, within the deepest recesses of their minds, I’ve often seen that they cherish the bonds that they share, they appreciate the other being there for them when it is really needed and when it really counts, they value shared laughs, they attach a lot of importance to each others’ opinions, judgments and views.
To me, that bond that siblings share with each other, day in and day out, symbolizes Raksha Bandhan. It is the very essence of that sacred thread we know as Rakhi because Rakhi is not just about a day – it is about the sibling relationship in all its color, complexity, energy and vibrancy and the colorful chaos, the vivid madness, the lively pandemonium and bedlam that only siblings can be capable of.
I remember a scene from a couple of years ago. Pecan woke up in the middle of the night, crying because of a nightmare that had invaded his senses and left him with a deep sense of disquiet. Macadamia, who normally is a heavy sleeper was wide awake and was sitting with Pecan throughout, assuring him, just as we were, that it was just a nightmare and that everything was indeed ok. That night, lying on the upper bunk, she slept after she heard Pecan’s soft snores. No matter what day of the year it falls on or what time of the day or the night, it happens to be, with siblings there are many a Rakhi moments. This, in my books, was one such.
Recently, when on our way back to HK from Phuket, Macadamia had an upset tummy and was in a pretty miserable shape throughout the flight back. Sitting next to Pecan, I found him stealing looks at Macadamia many a time and I was asked an innumerable number of times whether she was in pain or whether she needed medicine, whether we had medicine, whether the stewardesses had some medicine that could help her and so on and so forth. His brows were creased with worry and he kept asking her whether she was feeling better. No matter where it is – on Earth or in mid air or in outer space even, when there are siblings, there are many a Rakhi moments. This was one more.
The two of you, dear Nutty Siblings, are more than just acquaintances. You are cut from the same fabric. Though the two of you may appear to be sewn in different patterns, you have common thread that won’t be broken, not be people, not by time, not by distances.
So go right ahead and have your tiffs, your arguments, your fights …. give each other attitude, complain, bicker, squabble …… debate over things…… for, like the younger sibling once said, that is indeed the way siblings communicate with each other. Sibling relationships are among the most prized relationships in a lifetime. How else would you have someone to throw a pillow at, someone to bug, someone to blame and yet, through all the fights and brawls, your sibling is the person you will laugh with when you goof up or when you slip and fall, or when you have one of those absolutely awkward moments.
Here’s wishing The Nutty Siblings at home and all the siblings the world over, a very Happy Rakhi – each and every single day of their lifetime.
God Bless you both – today and always !!