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(A post on today’s festival – Rakshabandhan, remembering the childhood days and celebrating our bonding!

We all have cherished memories of bright sunny mornings and cool autumn evenings when we shared our fun, our secrets and our adventures with our siblings, when life was simple and carefree, with not a worry in the world and no stresses in life! What days they were, as if gift-wrapped with magic to take us away to the land of fairies and elves! That’s what comes to mind when I think of Raksha Bandhan, when each year, sisters tie a thread or a ‘rakhi’on the wrist of their brothers praying for their well-being while brothers vow to save their sisters from every harm and to ensure sisters are safe and happy to carry on with their everyday duties, wherever they may be.

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During childhood, the best part of observing these festivals were the strengthening of the bond between me and my brother, my ‘partner in crime most often than not….we would focus on the fun elements, as mother used to tell us the real meaning behind the celebration. Those days it was very strange to watch brother sit quietly to have the rakhi tied and then get eager to go to the next part, i.e, savoring the delicacies! As Bengalis, we had the traditional festival of Bhai Phonta, (a ceremony where we put “tika” on the forehead of the brother to ward off any evil that could be lurking anywhere!!!) which came a month after the Durga Puja, which is a very elaborate ritual in comparison and one that we took much more seriously!

After spending close to a decade and a half abroad, sending a rakhi by post each year to my only brother was the most normal thing to do, so much so that I had got used to it and came to accept the day as part of my annual routine! However, since we moved back to the country, I feel lucky that I can actually tie the rakhi on my brother’s wrist, hug him and bless him to so we can both celebrate the day in a special way! We do a little family gathering at either my place or his and indulge to our hearts content!!!

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This evening we all went over to brother’s place where we had a wonderful time together! The best thing about the festival this year is that my son now has a little cousin sister who ties him a rakhi too, so it is a double celebration. The bonding is wonderful and the company is great. It is heartening to see the unmistakable affection between the kids, as they spend time adoring each other’s company.

Dusk settles outside over a sombre grey sky and I quickly take a last sip from the delicious cup of black tea especially brewed for me.  As I remember our days in the pristine hills of Kohima, many memories of our childhood days come flooding in. A whiff of the past makes me so nostalgic! Memories play on the mind, as we head back home after a wonderful evening!

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