Author –Vishal Gudlani

Rakshabandhan-Day
Image – Flickr/Vikram Verma

Rakshabandhan is a day to celebrate the auspicious relationship between male and female siblings. It is a relationship characterised by love, care, understanding, support, trivial fights, innocent or naughty pranks and sincere apology. Such is the brother- sister relationship.

Since childhood days I have observed that, on the day of Rakshabandhan, my sister would imprint the fingerprint of her left ring finger by applying tika and then tie rakhi on my right hand. This is followed by rotating aarti thali and then I touch the feet of my sister; she feeds me sweets and then the most awaited moment arrives for my sister – receiving gifts. I always envied her because in return for tying a rakhi, she received gifts not only from me but from my cousins too. At the time, I didn’t understand what my sister gave me in return. But with time I understood that what she gives is more valuable – she gifts me the responsibility to protect her.

Many people misunderstand this and so, in the name of protecting their sister from the evil world, they put restrictions on her.  Don’t leave home alone; always have a friend accompany you in college and classes;  be with that friend always;  come home within 10 minutes after your class is done; don’t go with your friends for movies, go with your brother ; don’t leave home after 8 pm- these are a few restrictions I have heard in the past. I have also seen many brothers spying on their sisters to find out where she goes, whom she meets and why she meets that person. She also faces rapid fire enquiry if she is seen talking to a boy.

But don’t you think this is less protection and more about caging the sister?

My elder sister didn’t know how to ride a moped until I taught her. Earlier I used to take her but one fine day I decided to teach her to ride instead. Now she is independent enough to ride a
two-wheeler to fulfill her responsibilities, even after her marriage. Riding a moped was a problem for her but instead of avoiding the problem I taught her to face the problem.

Rakhi-Image
Image – Flickr/Vishweshwar Saran Singh

If you try to protect your sister you can protect her once or twice or even during those times when you are with her but what about the time when you are not with her? So instead of protecting her, teach her to overcome her problems. She will then protect herself when you cannot be there for her. By teaching her to fight a problem, you protect her as many times as problems rise up before her.

A sister is not to be caged; rather she is a bird meant to fly towards her dreams. So, every Rakshabandhan you have to promise to be the support she needs to fly high. Don’t make it a symbol which restricts her. Instead, cast a problem-solving spell by teaching her to fight.

Many times when I face some problem, my sister guides me out of it. In the same way, when she faces a problem, she expects her brother to understand and guide her. She too needs someone to show the right path when she goes wrong.

Usually, when a girl commits a mistake or has some issue, instead of understanding her, everyone just yells at her including her brother. But at that moment a brother needs to understand the sister’s agony and try to rescue her. So on every Rakshabandhan promise her that you will understand her situation even if the whole world is standing against her.

So from now on every Rakshabandhan promise her that you will teach her to face life boldly and to understand her situation when she has a problem and promise her that you will guide her.

Let Rakshabandhan be a day to provide a shield in the form of a brother rather than to tie a harness that restricts her.

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  • Isuri Ratnaweera

    what u have said is very much related to the modern society. It is indeed an eye opener to everyone