KARACHI: The Shri Laxmi Narayan Temple at the Native’s Jetty wore a festive look on Thursday on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. Women and girls from all over the city arrived at the temple for pooja after which they prepared a thaali for aarti to help ward off the evil eye on their brothers before tying the sacred rakhi around their wrists.
According to tradition, girls can tie a rakhi thread on anyone whom they love and respect like their brother.
Disha, Amrita and Yogita tied their little rakhis around the wrists of two brothers, Boomik and Laksh, who live in their neighbouring house as the boys promised to look after and protect the girls like brothers all their life. “My own daughter, my first born, had she been alive today, would have been 12 years old. She, too, would have tied a rakhi around her younger brothers’ wrists but it wasn’t to be as I lost her when she was only three,” said Lakshmi Bhimji as she watched her boys engaged in the annual ritual.
“I myself have bought four rakhi threads from outside the temple for my four brothers, Mohan, Narayan, Aresh and Rajinder. Two are tailors, one a cook and one works in a five-star hotel. All will reach home late in the evening after work. That’s when I’ll tie the rakhion their wrists,” she said.
“My husband, Bhimji, also has sisters who tied the sacred thread around his wrist earlier. Only my sons don’t have their own sister,” she sighed. “It is thanks to this sweet tradition then that other girls see them as their brothers and they don’t have to miss out on sisterly love.”
Both families had all come down to the Shri Laxmi Narayan Temple for Rakhsha Bandhan due to the temple’s ideal location. The Chinna Creek waters in front of the temple was the place where everyone later tossed in offerings as they prayed for the long life of their brothers. “We like to believe that all flowing waters are connected. Somewhere this water right here would meet the holy Ganges river, too,” said an aged woman, who said her name was Ganga, throwing in pieces of flour in the water.
According to Arjun Maharaj, the poojariji of the Shri Laxmi Narayan Temple, Rakhsha Bandhan begins on the full moon in the Hindu month of Shravan. “But everyone doesn’t have to tie the rakhi on that day only. They can do it for seven days after the full moon,” he said.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2016