Security. Protection. Safety. These are the 3 things every brother, like myself, promises his sister when she ties that thread around his wrist and we accept it as our duty, privilege and responsibility to protect our sisters. That is the true meaning of Raksha Bandhan. For many of us, the ceremony is boring and some of us don’t like the feeling of the string pulling on our wrist. But to those of us I say, the string and the ceremony do not matter.
Remember, I will say to them. Remember the promise you make to your sister.
Raksha Bandhan isn’t about tradition, religion or rakhis and artis. It’s about honouring that inseparable bond between a brother and a sister. So, this Rakhsa Bandhan don’t think of the ceremony as a bore or a chore; think of it as a renewal of the trust your sister places in you as her older or younger brother.
And a huge part of that inseparable and unbreakable bond between a brother and a sister is knowing each other so well you can pick each other out of a line-up while blindfolded, gagged and bound. And here are 5 things only a sibling relationship has:
1.How to irritate him/her.
This might seem counterintuitive to the point of Raksha Bandhan, but it is in the nature of a sibling relationship that they know how to tick each other off. Often times, it is hard for a brother and sister to admit to each other that they do love the other so they resort to irritation. And let me tell you, nothing says “I love you” more than annoying the other with every other sentence.
The only other person that even comes close to knowing what your sibling might like to eat off of the menu is your mother. But take it from me, no one knows your eating habits and what you love to eat and hate to taste more than your brother/sister. Trust them, they know what you like. And maybe they’ll even order it.
3.Perfecting the “your turn”.
It’s simple. “I got the door last time so now it’s your turn.” Or the “No, it’s YOUR turn to feed the dog!” and the classic; “YOU are clearing up the kitchen tonight!”
The biggest point of conflict in any healthy brother-sister relationship is the TV. I know exactly what my sister likes and so I make it a point to put on the polar opposite of that show whenever we watch TV. Of course, there is the converse where the brother agrees to watch what the sister likes but that’s rare enough to be forgotten.
5.Stealing the food.
This one is special in every sibling’s heart. Imagine this scenario; you’ve come back from a long day at school and you’re so looking forward to that pizza from last night that you’d tucked away in the fridge. You chuck your bag onto a sofa and rush to the fridge and lo and behold… your brother’s eaten it. He’ll deny it… probably… but you know in your heart that he’s eaten your precious ambrosia. And so… you’ll plot your revenge. You’ll wait for the day he carelessly puts his pizza in the fridge and before he has a chance to finish it… you pounce! The look on his face! Ah so precious. And then he plans his revenge and so the cycle continues. My sister has admitted to me once when I didn’t eat her leftovers that she was disappointed in me and that was a truly enlightening moment. I’ve never passed up her leftover meals, especially pizzas, since.
And that is what it means to have a sister or brother. That is what you honour when she ties that rakhi around your wrist. That is what you celebrate. It’s more than tradition, it’s love and respect for your sister.
There’s more to this humble ceremony than meets the eye and frankly, that is what Raksha Bandhan is all about.