Bhaiya mere, rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana… I remember this song every time Raksha Bandhan is around the corner. The last two years I have been most forlorn during Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj simply because my brother has moved to a different land. Even my cousins have moved away and I really miss them a lot. My little one is our only child and has no siblings. But yet, I do not want her to miss out on anything just because she does not have any brother of her own. So ever since she was little and almost naturally she started calling one of my friend's son as her brother and it has stayed that way. I love it and we do celebrate Raksha Bandhan with some fancy festivities. She is only four and a half years this year and I am in a better position to share with her the importance of Raksha Bandhan.
There are many stories related to Raksha Bandhan and the one about Maharani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun is most popular. Maharani Karnavati was the queen of Chittor in Rajasthan. The Maharani sent a Rakhi to Humayun, the Mughal Emperor of Delhi, and called him for help when Chittor was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Mewar. Humayun was aware of the significance of Rakhi in the Hindu community, so he immediately accepted her request to protect her.
I wouldn't say Raksha Bandhan has lost its importance. If anything, it is celebrated with much fervor now. I also think the relationship of a brother and sister is so holy that no amount of commercials or advertising or marketing gimmicks can trivialize the importance, sanctity and depth of the festival. A brother, big or small, will always feel deeply for his sister and vice versa. Diwali or Christmas still have the chances of getting too over the top or commercial, but this being a personal festival united by the common threads of parentage, shared childhood, memories, fun, laughter, giggles and much more that it surely is a beautiful relationship.
This year my little one will be meeting her friend-brother and we will have a family get-together too. Here's how I plan to celebrate it this year as she is now old enough to understand the importance of this festival.
- Just as I call up my brother and my cousins to wish them on Raksha Bandhan, I will make her speak to her cousin brothers too who are in different countries across the world.
- I will accompany her to make a personalized Rakhi for her friend-brother who she will meet on the day of the festival.
- I will tell her the various brother-sister stories from history and mythology so she knows the importance of the festival.
Do share your experiences and plans on how you wish to celebrate the festival with your child.
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