Today Ms Papaya will tie two special rakhis for her superhero brothers .
Rakhi or RakshaBandhan is not essentially a Maharashtrian festival but like everything else, has become pan-Indian thanks to the cultural invasion of Bollywood.
I actually remember celebrating this day as Coconut Day with my home being redolent with the smell of coconut barfi and sweet coconut rice .
Rakhis then and Rakhis now
But Coconut Day has now been forgotten in favour of Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Poornima.
And the simple twisted silken thread symbolising the Rakhi has changed with the adoption of vivid colours and embellishments like glitter and glam.
And today, it has Superheroes from Marvel!
The story of Rakhi
The origin of tying a Rakhi is lost in antiquity. Some people say it has its origin in the Mahabharata – when Krishna promised to come to Draupadi’s aid as a mark of gratitude when she helped him . And that is how when she was being disrobed, her sari went on and on …..
There are many other stories but I’m not familiar with them.
As far as I know, it is a band that symbolise the pledge of protection a brother makes to his sister . Oftentimes, the Rakhi is exchanged between non-siblings who consider each other as brother and sister. This is a particularly innovative brush off for a girl who wants to maintain the friendship of a boy without the promise of a more permanent or deeper relationship.
Tie a Rakhi to prevent a rape
In fact , it is this tactic that prompted the preposterous suggestion that to avoid a situation like Nirbhaya (the horrific 2012 gang rape that shook the world) , the girl should tie a Rakhi to the man who is perpetuating this dastardly act !
Really now, isn’t that the most ridiculous idea?
But today is a happy day and I’m off now to eat up my freshly made coconut barfi and watch Ms Papaya tie a Rakhi to Wow Dinga and Little Po. We may even stop off at Marine Drive and cast a coconut into the sea .
Happy RakshaBandhan and Happy Coconut Day to all!