WHY RAKSHA BANDHAN IS A STEP TOWARDS SANITY

Newspaper offers, online pop-ups, strains of ‘bhayiya mere rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana’ waltzing from the radio, brothers scurrying for last-minute purchases, sisters tasting each bit of mithai to see what’s good for her sibling- you’d be a fool not to notice it’s Rakhi time!

For all those guys who don’t have sisters, jokes are made on how on this day you’re not supposed to be out. To the extent of keeping even your Whatsapp offline so that even by mistake you don’t add a girl by making her a ‘sister’. ‘Na pitaji ki maar se, na maa ki fatkaar se, na jooton ki bochhar se, tum jaise gadhe sudhrenge, raksha bandhan ke tyohaar se’…is the popular sentiment online!

Looking at our filmi gyan, which is our only claim to gyan on human relationships, we find few mentions of this pious bond. A sister’s love is rarely the force behind a hero, except for maybe a ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’. Our focus has always been the love and passion of a man and woman. A boy’s nightmare is being told, “tum to mere bhai jaise ho’ and a girl will not leave home for a week after being told, “maine to kabhi tumhein uss nazar se nahi dekha”.

I wonder why we all want to be the passion of somebody’s life only. Isn’t Raksha Bandhan a love story too? A love story of siblings who love each other because a common blood bonds them together. A love story where there’s no malice, no competition, no jealousy, no expectations. Just the need to see each other happy and excel. With this love story, the brother and sister keep the magic of childhood alive. While the whole world shrieks, “My God, when are you going to grow up….Itne bade ho gaye ho abhi tak akal nahin aayi”, only a brother and sister can chuckle together in revelry.

It’s a feel-good festival. You’re not told mythical tales of good winning over evil because they don’t make any sense to you. Unlike other festivals, you’re not spending your entire budget over buying designer stuff for the boss, or buying those perfunctory cups and plates as gifts for friends and family. We see brothers exhibit a gentle, indulgent, caring side. We see them honoring their vow to be with their sisters through thick and thin. We see the sister, basking in the love of her brother’s attention. So, why do we all want to run away from this kind of a love story?

Guys, don’t lose heart. I’m not advocating that all world be brothers and sisters. Long live the Romeos and Juliets, the Heers and Ranjhas.

If a single thread around a guy’s wrist can make him a sentimental gentleman, ready to uphold the dignity of a woman, then let’s imagine that there’s a invisible thread that every woman ties to you. A thread of respecting her consent, of respecting her choices, of respecting her dignity.

If she wants to be your girlfriend, she will bat her eyelids and smile at you. But if she says a no, then don’t stalk her, don’t disrespect her, don’t violate her. Let the goodness in you as a brother permeate to your goodness with all other women.

If you can’t get her, don’t rape her! If you’re Adam and you came first on Earth, then be the first to teach the lesson of mutual respect. If you lead in the ‘saat pheras’ then lead too in giving space and freedom to every woman you know.

Happy Raksha Bandhan! This day gives us hope because you score cent per cent on this day by being the perfect provider, the gentle caretaker, the smiling and caring benefactor. Don’t spoil your scores for the remaining 364 days by violating a woman’s self respect and dignity.

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