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Blindfolded, Backwards

Rakshabandhan – I’ve stayed away from this one festival and have been quite proud about it as well. I have always found principle flaws in its concept and nature. Much like most of our festivals neither does it make no sense to me nor can I believe my family members blindly following it with lack of imagination and consideration. It, in its all simplicity, is backwards and utter nonsense of an occasion, let alone its celebration which reflects on us as reluctant and bound with the chains of orthodoxy. And it takes me a lot of ignorance to even be quite about it. We live amongst educated people but not necessarily aware. And I have, for the ease of avoiding a just-for-the-sake-of-it discussion (read argument), accepted that my family will not really be completely willing to alter their ways, or even consider doing so. WHY? Age-long traditions that have not been reconsidered for long must be maintained as a respect for the otherwise nonsensical sanity of those who formed them, identity of whom might not even be know to those who’d be defending it. Any logic makes sense when followed blindly and debaters hushed under the bat of traditional observation and conservatism. Devotes, not of religion, but that of conformism. But I’m not one to follow. Here’s why


I have the most qualified group of ladies in my family, and I boast about them afront my pals and in my travels at times. Phds and teachers they all are. And they are all much successful homemakers too, simultaneously. They earn handsomely and aren’t restricted to do anything. They all are strong believers of woman empowerment and so are their older ladies under whose guardianship their kids are growing, or will. But come these occasions not a thought is spared to what they’re waking up for, spending money to look nice, traveling for hours to gather, and celebrating. The idea Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 19.04.16of Rakshabandhan is for the sisters to ask for a promise of protection from their brothers. A) Forget from whom, why do you need protection, and B) why would men protect them? Redundant even to respond, the idea is patriarchal. Women sound weaker and men stronger. Is it so? Of course not, and not just to sound politically correct, because that in itself will be politically correct, it just doesn’t fit. There’s no argument that women are the stronger gender, let’s reserve that discussion for later, and men are only half as capable of what a woman can do. And these are exactly the woman we are born from, raised by, played along, learnt about womanhood from, and embrace, who are committed to following such obsolete festivals only for the sake of it?? Yes, we must protect our women but do we really need a festival to remind them that they need us, and protection, and we are there for that? If they’re under such threat lets lock them in their respective rooms and not let them out, shall we? Would that be progressive? And then we go out and celebrate these occasions and festivals. Come on now!! Either woman empowerment is a hoax or men are too smart of coin a word just to keep woman mentally occupied and simultaneously celebrate such occasions just to remind them of the position they hold. As disturbing as you must be feeling right now, with an itchy foreskin, so must you be while lighting that lamp for the thali on the D-day my sisters.

I believe sisters must tie rakhis to each other too. It doesn’t take away anything from the tradition but adds more value to the family itself. Let it be equal. And let me confess this ain’t my idea but I’m in agreement of it.


The heading gives it all. I hate this part, and I know hate is a big bad strong word but that’s what it is. Whoever came up with the idea of monetising festivals, occasions, or even rewarding presence at these occasions in the name of shagun was insane. Further to this the concept that men are to earn and woman to be presented with money on such occasions is incorrect. Yet again steps in the angle of woman empowerment here, minus that there’s still annoyance in it. This time it is about men. Them earning enough to spare change on such occasions is fallacious, though it has nothing to do with one’s earning capacity. Presenting it to their sisters and them accepting it is further erroneous. Why should their be any transaction at all. Sisters ask for a promise and brothers are to deliver, why’s there money even mentioned? But what has become even worse is the idea of adhering to a prefixed ‘going rate’ each year, and an increment from time to time. I don’t accept it one bit and thus find it ludicrous. I’ve seen my younger brothers who didn’t earn at that time being handed money by their parents, especially mothers, to present to their sisters. Where’s the empowerment now? It’s a woman is who’s making a man stronger here and a woman weaker. And what prevails if this rate isn’t followed are two prominent things – sarcasm + judging, not always playfully, and a drop in rating as one’s preferred brother. Now the latter no one would care for for long, but the former, let’s grow up.

I would sincerely invite my sisters to take a progressive step and remain positively away from receiving anything even if offered. Small it is but it’ll become a cornerstone for generations to come, more regard and respect will be earned, more so, sensibility will prevail. We want that, we need that.


Alright, this is serious. This is more important and more now that the above-mentioned two. Sugar, boxes and boxes of it, is presented. A festival is not to be concluded without it. Be it sweets, cookies, softdrinks, or even the fanciest assortment, everything presented to eat at such occasions is unhealthy. And we are passing exactly the same incorrect learnings to our little ones as our parents did to us. Sugar is what’s killing my mother and many others in my family. Sugar is the biggest demon in the gastronomy kingdom. 80% of all mScreen Shot 2017-08-09 at 19.04.01ajor life threatening illnesses and diseases have it at the helm of their occurrence. And if not that the second biggest killer is fat. Deep-fried pooris, dahi bhalle, heavy oily caterer cooked food, all snacks served before, during, and after, all the crisps and chakna, accompanied by our favourite alcobevs, which by the way increases our food intake by 11% minimum, let alone its own cons, is just a lot to handle. Yet, in the name of one-off-gathering and festivity we do it all, and gladly so. If anyone contests it’s further slipped under the rug by saying – ek din me much nahi ho jayega. Whoever said we can not celebrate with regular food? Whoever said caterer food is necessary? This isn’t about minimalism, it’s sensible. Alright, lets not go to extremes here, lets just have that caterer the sake of ease and relief for the host. Yet those mithais, and gifts presented by our lovely sisters is harmful and thus redundant. Let’s not even try to see these gifts as an expression of love. Love’s blind but not to someone’s health and wellbeing, isn’t that anyone would want? They’re all are purchased on the day or a day prior to be presented. There’s underlying monetisation and a secret race in that too. Just not ever spoken about but an irradical judgment goes around in that too. Alls fair in the name of obsolete tradition and cultural heritage that no one gives a flying effe about anyways.

Science fails us at expressing. Feelings and thought are hard to put in words. This may be a verbal failure but hopefully delivers a message. It’s time we alter our ways of celebrating our festivals and what they stand for. Just as bursting crackers on Diwali is deemed incorrect now, since your dog is disturbed and your kid suffers from asthma, this is also as muddled a concept. My sisters have called me cheap and a miser, and family ignorant for my absence at these festivities, to which I’ve not gotten offended and stayed silent, but it’s now that I’m laying forth my disagreement, not with the day, but with the thought behind it. And why now? Only for the toddlers to learn better, conceive better, and be influenced better. Let us be the bad ones for our past generations and the rebels for our future ones, but it’s time we set these records straight and filled them with sensibility. 

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