A "Rakhi" For Me
A "Rakhi" For Me
"RakshaBandhan" or "Rakhi", a wonderful occasion in the Indian culture, when a sister wishes away all the omen from her brother and the brother promises to take care of his sister from all foes. Amazing isn't it, just the reason for this event makes you want to celebrate it. But there is a slight problem to celebrate it- you need a sibling! Yes, a lot of you would say that not necessary- you can get a "rakhi" from any girl who thinks of you as her brother and you think of her as your sister. True, very true but this is more like considering the entire human race as one big happy family and everyone alive as your brothers and sisters. This sounds really good on pen and paper, when explaining to someone else or when debating. But if you want to know what it really feels like then ask someone who does not have a sibling, is the only child. Ask that girl how it feels like when every one of her friends is talking about what her brother will gift her and all she can do is listen and sulk. Or ask that boy who does not have even a single "rakhi" on his wrist to show off at school. You might be thinking that I am a very pessimistic kind of person and am completely ruining the fun of such a colorful event. Believe me, I am not, that is not my intention. I only wanted you to understand that there are people around you who may not have a brother or a sister to celebrate this occasion with. No, I am not asking you to suddenly become their brother or sister, all I am asking you to do is be a bit sympathetic to their feelings and "show off" a little less when someone like that is around. Makes them feel a little less lonesome and awkward.
Why I am saying this is because this was kind of my story as a kid. I do not have any siblings and was always a shy little kid. So whenever these events came up I used to dread them. I never blame the other kids as they were like me little cuties all too happy to show off their gifts and rakhis. Nothing wrong in doing that. But I felt really bad until one angel understood my sadness and took it upon herself to comfort me. She was my Grandma, you see she used to give me a rakhi and gift so that even I would have something to talk about and show off to the other kids. And she did that until the last year that she was alive. She loved me and took care of me as her grandson, she protected and looked after me as my elder sister. This is not something very uncommon though, you know. Grandmas and Grandpas acting as sisters and/or brothers to their grandchildren. I was lucky to have an awesome woman as my Grandma and she really "loved me to the moon and back" - Cliche.
However, in today's world of nuclear families where couples can "afford" to have only one child, such scenarios are only going to increase. And add to that the fact that even the grandparents no longer stay with the kids anymore in most cases. So where do these kids go then, what should they do? Stop celebrating, right the easiest solution at hand. Or as a parent just buy them a fancy gift and be done with it, which should take care of the problem? Yes, that may subdue their emotion for the time being momentarily but the long-lasting effect of that emptiness can be witnessed as they keep growing older. Kids without any kind of sibling attachments can grow up to be loners, jealous, violent, cranky, and/or shy socially un-inhabitable beings. Exceptions of-course will be there but generally, this is what happens.
So if you are a parent and you are reading this, try to spend this "Rakhi" with your kid. Try to explain to them what it means, try to make them understand the real value of the words brother and sister. In fact, even if it is for a day try to become their brother or sister. Don't just shut them by buying them a gift or worst not even acknowledging that they do not have to spend this occasion alone. That their mamma or papa can be their brother and sister as well. Cause as grownups if we don't take this extra effort to explain our customs and rituals to the next generation then all they take out of this is another stupid event to exchange gifts, have a party, and enjoy, for absolutely no good reason.
HAPPY RAKSHA BANDHAN !!!