For the benefit of those who are not totally sure about this festival , its really quite simple – It celebrates a bond between brothers and sister’s. The latter ties what is essentially a wristband of sorts on to the brother , who in return is expected to “protect” the sister(s) from any harm , and also give gifts to the sisters in return for this band. The gifts can be anything but cash seems to be favorite.
Sisters can be siblings, cousins or even friends who are women. The festival, at least , during my college days was a good chance for young girls to fend off advances by the boys by tying them a Rakhi – that way they technically became his sister and hence any advances would be incestuous. Needless to say there was a cloud of depression over a lot of people , and more often that not you would see a guy running a break neck speed in order to avoid this from happening.
It become big business as well. Step out 2-3 days before the day and most shops would have constructed large displays of Rakhi’s. The Rakhi’s themselves have evolved from simple , colorful bands to hideous designs which include, spider man , Potter , Krrish , Bollywood faces etc. A very ghastly thought , a nightmare if you end up getting one and needing to wear it the entire day.
The good news is that i get a day off from office. The bad news is i have 4 cousin sisters , i still have not thought of what i am going to give, but with 4 sisters i can expect a horrific drop in the weight of my wallet!