For dear brother’s well being, sisters hurry Rakhi ceremonies

August 16th, 2008 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Ramya Narayan rushed to her brother’s place early Saturday morning to tie a Rakhi before going to work. Although not much of a believer in the effect of eclipses, with the priests saying that the auspicious hour ends at 4 p.m. because of a lunar eclipse Saturday, Narayan said that she didn’t want to take any chances. “I don’t know whether it’s true or not that the auspicious hour ends at 4 p.m. but when it comes to my brother, I just don’t want to take any chances. I want everything good for him,” said the caring sister, all dressed up in a fine sari.

Lakshmi Prasad, a priest of the Lakshmi Narayan temple in south Delhi, said: “Since Rakhi is celebrated under the auspices of the full moon, the rituals had to be hurried up before the eclipse sets in at 4 p.m. The actual shadowing of the moon will begin at 1 a.m. (in the night) but the auspicious hour will end at 4 p.m.”

Dating back to the ancient Hindu scriptures, Raksha Bandhan is usually celebrated during the full moon in the Indian month of Shravan (monsoon).

Keeping in mind that there will be a lunar eclipse at 4 p.m. Saturday, signalling an end to the auspicious hour, the temples were flooded early in the day with women, adorned in their finery, mostly in traditional Indian attire, all praying for their brothers’ wellbeing.

For Kavya Jain, a home maker, the plans took a sudden twist when her brother who was supposed to come down from Mumbai on Rakhi, called her in the morning to say that he would not be able to make it.

But instead of moping, Jain quickly logged on to her computer and after selecting the best of the rakhis available, e-mailed him one.

“Rakhi is such a special occasion. My twin brother, who works in Mumbai, makes it a point to come down to Delhi to celebrate the occasion and then take me on a shopping spree. This is the first time that we are not together,” Jain told IANS.

“However, thanks to technology, I could still send him a rakhi, so what if it’s a virtual one!” she added.

Celebrating the brother-sister bond, Rakhi is a festival of gaiety and merriment. And whether it’s a real or virtual one, a simple thread or a more expensive jewel studded one, the emotion behind is always the same.

While some decided to keep the ceremonies simple at home, when sisters tie the sacred thread on their brothers’ wrists and brothers in turn promise to protect them from all harm, others made it grand.

Ravish Sharma, an executive in a multinational company, said that Rakhi is always a big occasion at home.

“We are a joint family and among six cousins, there’s just one girl. Rakhi therefore is a big festival at home…we keep guessing who she’s going to tie the Rakhi on first and have fun puling her leg. Then of course we let her splurge on a sponsored shopping spree! This year has been much the same,” he laughed.

For Harshita Mehta, a student, Rakhi however means splurging on her younger brother.

“My brother is six years younger to me and is pampered the most at home. On Rakhi therefore instead of him buying gifts for me, I take him out shopping. Each time he promises that when he starts earning, he will make up for all this! For now it’s the thought that really matters,” said the doting sister.

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