KARACHI: The full moon (purnima) on Thursday brought with it the celebration of the bond or protection, better known as the Hindu festival of Rakhsha Bandhan, when sisters tie the sacred thread around their brother’s wrists.
Many girls and women, including elderly ones, could also be seen heading towards the three big temples in the city — the Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple, the Shree Swaminarayan Temple and the Shree Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple for puja. The path to the temples were lined with sellers of rakhi, the pretty thread. Some were worth Rs10, some Rs50 and some, which happened to be imported from India, cost Rs100 and Rs200 as well. Although they were available in all colours, the best-sellers were the red ones with gold and silver beads in the middle because the red is recognised as the colour of happiness.
The vendors also sold stuff to decorate the thali such as dried coconut, sweetmeats, fresh flowers, kumkum to mark the tilak on the forehead and even little gifts that any brother could buy and give to his sisters.
The thali after the decoration is used for aarti to help ward the evil eye off the brothers.
It is not necessary to tie rakhis on brothers’ wrists only as girls also tie the pretty thread on anyone whom they look up to as their brother.
Some girls whose brothers are away from them are also known to mail or courier the rakhi thread to them. But one thing is a done deal: they always expect some little gift in return from their brothers. The usual gift is a sari but the gift of some piece of jewellery is also appreciated.
Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2022