Brothers and Raksha Bandhan

I am a little (or very) late for this. Considering I’m writing about a festival which has passed when another one is almost here (Yes, brown people have a lot of festivals).
Sorry, not sorry?

Aranya this side, coming up with an unhealthy amount of sisterly love.
For many of you, (Belated) Happy 73rd Indian Independence Day!

This year, apart from 15th of August being celebrated as a National Holiday in India, 15th August was celebrated for something else as well. The date coincided with the ceremony of “Raksha Bandhan”.
We follow the lunar calendar here, so most festivals depend upon the position of the moon rather than the date according to the Georgian Calendar.

It’s sad to note that not many people write about it. Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival, yet, in today’s date, it has become somewhat secular in nature. A lot of Indian-oriented YouTube channels also feature videos based on this theme.
It’s a cute festival. It honors the bond between siblings, specifically, a brother and sister.

Raksha Bandhan is made up of two words (as you can see)- “Raksha”, which translates as giving someone their protection (from danger, harm, whatever) and “Bandhan”, which translates to a bond.

I don’t want to get too much into history, but it originated when the Queen (or Princess) of one of the Indian Kingdoms sent a red thread to the Emperor of one of the big Empires around that time in order to receive his protection from the incoming threat of invaders in her land.
(Yes, we’ve had lots of dynasties, Kings, Emperors, wars and smaller Kingdoms in this peninsula).

Anyway, the “red thread” is actually called a “Rakhi” which is an improved version of it’s original. It’s not just a simple “thread” anymore. There are sales and marketing techniques involved in presenting personalized rakhis these days. It’s a whole new level.

The sister ties the rakhi on the brother’s wrist. In return, these days, there is no “be my savior” but a gift which is given.
The reason I call it a small ceremony, is because there’s a proper way of tying the “thread”. Though, when I say it’s become a somewhat secular festival, I mean it’s not everyone who does the whole religious ceremony and it’s inter-religious in that sense.

In fact, some alterations even include the Rakhi being tied by the younger sister to the older sister or if the younger brother ties his older sister (yes, my friend does that).

Now, coming back to the original purpose of this blog-

Silly, Stupid Brothers these days

I love my brother, don’t get me wrong. I caught a train to come here for the long weekend (Thursday to Sunday).

1. The world famous dialogue-
“I’m mumma’s favorite.” or “You’re adopted.”

Let’s get real- brothers (younger or the same age as you) are so so not worth it. The only thing they’re good at is teasing you for your incompetence.

Like, have you seen your monkey face in the mirror, my unshaven caveman? There’s no way I’m the adopted one.

Raksha Bandhan is a whole new deal- the only time when they want to click a picture (or not, in some cases) and show off how they got a rakhi.
A rakhi, which Aidan removes after half a day.
And for all those brothers who don’t know- a lot of time is invested in choosing the right rakhi. It’s important because your brother should like it. It should be comfortable and good to look at, As a sister, you should like it as well (though that’s somewhat secondary since he’s the one wearing it).

But to just wear it for a few hours and then throw it. It makes all that overthinking brain of mine go into a heated overdrive. Why should I put so much work into selecting one if you’re not even going to wear it for a complete day?

Ridiculous.
But I’m a twenty year old female, deal with my over acting a little more.

2. You can never have normal guy friends.
Any guy friend I’ve had, has been scrutinized by my brother. I suspect, he stalks more of my guy friends and me than his own potential crushes.
It got easier when we got out of our house. Teenagers under the same roof can’t help but tell on each other.
When we were in the same school, any guy friend I talked to or became a little more friendly with, Aidan would come home and spill on the dining table. If he got mad over mum scolding him for something, there’d be a report on my behavior in school to mum.

Luckily, I have a smart mum. She’d scold us more when we told on the other. So, eventually we just managed to shut up.
Of course, now it’s better. There are times I’ve discussed some things with Aidan as well, which I wouldn’t have in the past.

3. You can definitely not be interested in his life, but he’s totally hell bent on bull dosing through yours.
This is kind of similar to the previous point. Do not enter his room without knocking. Do not touch his things.
If he is in school with his friends, he does not know you. You are a nobody.

You are not related in school with your siblings unless the teacher calls you out due to some medical problem or something along those lines.
Golden rules of going to the same high school, if your brother is the same age as you or younger.

Don’t create a mess of his place (this one still stands).

Though, if I look back on these things, they make me only laugh at how much we “hated” each other. It wasn’t even actual hate.
We were so interested in our own lives and our friends, that we wanted to get away from even each other. Not that we’re the opposite, but we don’t “hate” each other. We just learnt to let go and give space (though, not Aidan. Not yet.)

In the end, they’re your family. You don’t get to choose.

I remember once when I really wanted to go for a concert.
It was a lovely concert and “all my friends” were going. Typical situation.
Sister wants to go. Tantrum at home. Mum decides on grounding the sister and telling her to go to her room.

He gave up one of his “free evenings out” days (yeah, we had one of those when we were younger and it’s exactly like it sounds- coming back home past designated time for a numbered days in the month). Aidan came to the room once I had gone back stomping my feet and pleaded mum to let me go.

Eventually, she let us go, provided Aidan and his friends go along as well. I think mum was just impressed that Aidan was willing to do that for me.
Brothers, no matter what, are those silent idiots who watch the fun, after starting the fire, and still take up your side when the fire gets out of hand.

It is something which I know, has even left my mum speechless.
Aidan complaining about something insignificant just to light a spark and then coming to my rescue in the last minute and helping me out of mum’s scolding.

They are the silent supporters.

They are the ones you can discuss anything with. Right from coming up with the most ridiculous prank, or a crazy cool (Alien/UFO level) plan and they’ll be there to help you with the execution, or just talking about random things while watching TV.

Which is also one of the reasons why its important to tell your brother you love them. I feel they are mostly there to help you through, even if it’s talking your parents’ way through to get what you want, that the least you can do is support them back.

Apart from the fact that they can be very nosy as well. And mine is a slight control freak, so…

***

Hi, if you’d like more content on actual festivals and other historical matters in India, please type in the comment section below.
India is a richly diverse country, with a lot of history. I like reading a few novels based on history and now they’re just there.

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