Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Big RB

Today is, my well-informed sources tell me, Raksha Bandhan. The Big RB.

And as is the case every year when this occasion comes around, there is a sudden surfeit of
a. Mushy RB based ads promoting everything from chocolates to electronic gadgets to underclothing. (Keep your beloved brother warm this RB with our premium knitted innerwear!)
b. Uneasy half-jokes among guys about steering clear of girls in the fear that they might be converted from ‘friends’ to ‘brothers’.

Point (a) above, I can't really grouse about. The great marketing wheel turneth. Point (b), however, is something I'm increasingly beginning to feel rather strongly about.

I actually happen to know several guys who have this attitude - the conversion fear. And they're really serious about it. That surprises me.

Being a South Indian, I come from a culture where the concept of RB is not particularly well established and is still seen as a North Indian import. Consequently, the dedication to the concept, and the seriousness with which the RB procedures are followed up North, are not something I have usually seen at close quarters. I know some of my North Indian friends prepare for weeks, searching for the ideal Rakhi and gifts and so on...

I am not very experienced in all this but I find the concept of RB very interesting. Quite beautiful, actually. And I don’t subscribe to the views of those who avoid girls (or claim to) on RB for what I feel are inordinately silly reasons. I think tying a Rakhi is a sign of friendship, acceptance, trust and faith... qualities which are really really important in one’s life, and ones we should find people to share with. It indicates, to me, a deeper connection of minds, a simple and pure sense of belief in the other person, and a knowledge that you will look out for each other in life.

These are emotions I would love to have someone to share with. I would really appreciate it if someone I knew genuinely trusted and cared enough to tie me a Rakhi. It would honestly mean a LOT to me. (I realise this para has just dropped my... er... 'market' value about 50%, but what the heck.)

Anyways, for all those who've actually bothered to read this far... here are a couple of popular Rakhis (taking some liberty with the spelling...) Take your pick. And let me know what you think of Raksha Bandhan.