We celebrated Raksha Bandhan recently. Can something be more beautiful than this ancient Hindu festival to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters? The sister ties a rakhi to her brother, signifying her love for him, while the brother offers her a gift and protection in return. No, I don’t want to say that Raksha Bandhan is patriarchal, blah blah blah. It is a part of our culture and is important to bring a family together, because, nowadays, the workload and our busy lives keep us divided.
A little from personal experience – I have been through a lot recently. There was this one person in my life who came forward and helped me go through it. If it had not been for him, I do not know what I would have done. Timely hugs (even virtual ones through Whatsapp), calming words, phone calls at 4 am have kept me alive, have kept me from breaking down into a hundred pieces. I asked if I could adopt him as my older brother, and he agreed. He has always kept up his responsibilities and duties as my older brother and has always been there for me. I needed protection and my older brother protected me.
I have also watched old episodes of the TV Show Sasural Simar Ka (I don’t care if I am being judged for this), and there are instances where the protagonist, Simar defends and fights for her younger sister, Roli. This is not limited to the TV show. I am sure that if a sibling is threatened, any human being with feelings will fight the world for him/her.
I think the bond of a brother and sister is not just of blood, but of souls and of hearts, like any other bond in this world is. I think every little brother deserves to be protected, and it is not just a man who can protect, for a while a woman can take the form of a housekeeper, she can also take the form of Maa Durga when her family is threatened.
I think every brother and sister deserves to be tied the rakhi irrespective of their sibling’s gender, and every sibling deserves to be protected by their older sibling, again irrespective of their genders. Rakhi, therefore, needs to be more of a celebration of a bind between siblings, than just a brother-sister bond.