Now, I generally miss home sometimes. You know, regular homesickness. And then, I'm all like yea but dude! I'm in England only for this year and then I'm ok again. But during festivals, this homesickness is multiplied 10 times and refuses to go away! I miss the colour, the noise, the fragrance of the festivities, the feel of cheer vibrating and tangible in the air, the activity in every household and the general feeling of goodwill everywhere around you. Of course, it doesn't help that India has so fucking many festivals that I feel this way at least once a month! :P Anyway, I decided instead of wallowing, I'll do something constructive today. And generally, my idea of "constructive in order to get rid of the depression" is cooking an Indian sweet. So, I decided to experiment and make some jalebis today. And, well, they taste alright but they look really weird since I didn't have the instrument which makes them fall in a perfect spiral. So, not a total failure! :P
However, the most famous story told about Raksha Bandhan is the one from the 15th Century. Rani Karnavati, the Queen of Chittor sends a rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun to seek protection against another Sultan (a minor Mughal King) who was going to invade Chittor. The Emperor was so touched by this gesture that without thinking about the Hindu-Muslim divide, he went ahead to save Rani Karnavati and Chittor from invasion, leaving behind a battle that he was leading. So, it is the emotion of erasing the rampant communism currently prevalent in India, which makes this festival extra special for me.
One of the best things about Raksha Bandhan is the colour that the cities take on due to the stalls which crop up all over the place, full of different kinds of rakhis - right from the ones that cost 3 rupees to the ones that cost 100 rupees. Just like the Christmas lights and decorations, the Diwali rangolis and lanterns, the Holi colours, pichkaris and water balloons and the Eid late night food joints advertise the advent of each of the festivals and spread the festival merriment. One of my favourite Raksha Bandhan memories is when I was 11. That was the year, my younger cousin, the baby of our family was born and he was like a month or so old. Also, that year Raksha Bandhan was on 15th August, the Independence Day. And so, the auspicious day also being occasion-ful, our family decided to have his naming ceremony that day as well. I remember he was dressed up in a ridiculous red and white stripe thing with a baby cap on and he looked like a very chubby baby girl. I was so proud that day, being the eldest sister and all! Then, my aunt and I, both performed the naming ceremony together. I was literally bursting with excitement that day! And a few years ago, I and my other cousin, who is only 5 years younger to me, really started bonding a lot. Since that time, Raksha Bandhan means a lot more to me since I really value my relationship with him a lot more now than I used to before. As of this year, no such nostalgic, fond memory. But I do have a joke. :P Kyra and I were talking on phone and I was telling her how much I miss the festivities and all. And she said, "Yea, why don't you ask someone and tie them a rakhi? Jerome is cute! You could go ask him!" Now, it's common for us to "adopt" a brother or a sister. In fact, in schools, when everybody was being an asshole and linking you with the ugly boy/ the irritating sneezer, you would to use Raksha Bandhan as a shield and tie that boy the rakhi, "adopting" him as your brother just to shut everybody up. Anyway the same thing happens in the legend of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun, no? But what I didn't get was why would I want a cute boy who is unrelated to me adopt me as a SISTER?!! Heh, sometimes Kyra likes being funny! :P
*Pictures courtsey Google.