Monday, April 25, 2005

The Rakhi Horrow Show

Growing up in the south, the custom of tying a thread to signify 'sibling'ness was alien to me. Until high school, actually. It became a sort of craze then to tie a rakhi to the brother figures in the neighbourhood. Some of us used it as a weapon too, if you catch my drift.
The go between in school romances, would be the brother she didn't have and would have a rakhi tied every year promptly, or at least until the romance lasted.

Some others used it to ward off unwanted attention from local romeos. That way, his hands and eyes would be tied. A two way protection that was. One, he no longer looked at the girl with a romantic interest and two, he shielded her from other roadside romeos.
If you think about it, isn't that what rakshabandhan is all about? To protect your sister at all costs? :-)

I remember this girl in college who was teased about it. She wanted to tie a rakhi on a classmate, but she forgot to bring it on the actual date. When she said she would bring it the next day, all our friends teased her, saying that if you tie it the next day, the relationship changes. The second day rakhi is for 'special friends'. She actually believed it for some time. And as far as I can recollect, she never tied another rakhi.

Going back to my high school days, I will tell you the reason why I never got on to that band wagon of enthusiastic rakhi siblings. My friend had a boyfriend with whom I had passing acquaintance. He had a friend who apparently decided that he was interested in me. My friend and her boyfriend would seldom talk to each other. They communicated through letters. So they were aware of this guy's interest. But I was never really informed though I could piece it from what I saw. And that put me in a fix. So my friend and I discussed what we should do about it. She suggested that I tie him the Rakhi and that should solve everything. At that time, that seemed to be a neat solution. And I carried it out.

The poor guy was shell shocked when I accosted him. He was probably thinking that his interest was reciprocated. And what do I do? Fetch my rakhi and tie it around his wrist with fumbling fingers. There! That should take care of it. I mentally rubbed my hands with glee and washed them. And he was still in a stupor that he could not stop me or do anything except walk away.

And I promptly forgot about all this in a little while. A few days later, I receive an anonymous mail. Not the electronic kind, those days, the written postal kind was more popular. There was no sender's address and I opened it with hesitation. Inside I found a chocolate bar. So I consulted my other friend and we thought we should eat it since there seemed to be nothing wrong with the chocolate even though we didn't know anything about the benevolent sender.

I broke a few pieces, gave her some, ate some. While eating, I flipped the chocolate over. There was something written (embossed) on the chocolate! Can you believe it! Unfortunately I could not make out what was written, except for the signed name. And on further exploring found my rakhi in that envelope. I had to throw away that chocolate as it no longer appealed to me.

So you see, from then on, I decided rakhis and pseudo brothers were not for me. But it did provide me with so much entertainment, don't you agree?


Me too said...

Your post brought back some funny 'Rakhi' incidents that happened during my school days too. At that time, it used to feel so hip to celebrate those North Indian festivals(Holi, Raksha Bandhan etc.) than 'kolu' and 'kaaka pidi'!!

Munimma said...

kaaka pidi? you mean, pongal?

Icy Cool said...

This brings back memories of the way this "raakhi" was used. How quickly brothers turned into lovers used to amaze me !! I know atleast a couple of girls who used to swoon about a guy who they said was their raakhi brother and showered affection on each other. But then adhu romanceaa maari pochchu oru stagela. I just could not digest that. Call me a prude or whatever you want. I was very clever. evanukumae raakhi kattala. What if the guy who I though of as a brother had other naughty thoughts about me was the thought in my mind I suppose !!!! :)