When Anahita came back from school, Mummy was busy preparing for Raksha Bandhan. It was the last day of the Shraavana month. Shraavana month is the fifth month as per the Hindi calendar and is full of festivities which meant a lot of sweets and delicacies throughout the month. “Wow, have you prepared any of my favourite sweets?” – Anahita rushed towards kitchen at full speed. Mamma had prepared kheer and poora and it was smelling delicious! Mummy warned Anahita – “Stay away, let us first do the pooja rituals and then you can have that kheer.” Anahita nodded and said – “Are Mama, Mami on the way? Let me call and ask them.” Mummy asked Anahita to first help her in all the preparations. Anahita, her little sister Poornita and Mummy sat down to decorate the aarti thali. Mummy had brought sweets and fruits. She kept the colourful Rakhis and Nariyal on the aarti thali. Mummy next told – “Anahita would you wrap up these presents that we brought for Mama and Mami?” “Yes, Mummy” – nodded Anahita.
In some time, Mama and Mami entered home with a lot of gifts and chocolates for the two sisters- Anahita and Poornita. Papa was home too and all of them gathered to the pooja room. They tied Rakhi to Lord Krishna and did the other pooja rituals. Papa said – “Kids, do you know the importance of this festival and the significance of tying this amulet? Sister usually puts kumkum and rice-grains on brother’s head .Then she ties amulet or Rakhi on her brother’s wrist and prays to protect him from all untoward evils and dangers. Brother also promises the sister to protect her. It is to celebrate the beautiful sibling relationship wherein they mutually promise to be with each other for ever. Isn’t this so beautiful?”
Mummy added – “I recall my grandmother always used to tell us the story about Lord Krishna and Draupadi. This story dates back to the epic of Mahabharata. Once Krishna got an injury and he cut his finger. Draupadi was unable to bear the sight of blood from his brother’s hand. She acted immediately and tore a piece of her sari and tied to Krishna’s wound. Lord Krishna was touched by Draupadi’s concern for him. He promised to protect Draupadi whenever in need. The bond between a brother and sister is really lovely. The underlying spirit of this festival is “Raskha” or “protection” that brother and sister promise to give each other. Anahita and Poornita, there are some more lovely legends. One such story of King Bali and Goddess Laxmi, and also another about Emperor Humayun and Rani Karnavati.”
But Anahita looked a little sad – “Mamma, I do not have any brother. So that means I cannot tie Rakhi to anyone. If I am in danger, who will protect me?
In a reassuring tone, Mummy said – “No Anahita. Tying of Rakhi is not confined to brothers and sisters. Raksha Bandhan symbolises love, respect and protection or Raksha. You can even tie Rakhi to your younger sister, Poornita. Both of you can promise to protect each other in case of need.” Everyone cheered and sat in the living room to compete the rituals and customs of this auspicious festival after which they had the delicious dinner prepared by Mummy.
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Anisha Bajaj, a passionate mother of two, runs a children’s book library in Mumbai. Having pursued BBA, CFA and MS(Finance), she has worked with top MNCs in the past. However, motherhood opened up a new world of books to her. She is on a mission to spread the joy of learning from books with fellow moms and to encourage kids to spend lesser time on gadgets and screens. She has also made story contributions to a children book called ” My hopscotch journey- A Pari’s Tale”. Recently she has joined the editorial team for a monthly children magazine called BeyondClassrooms”.