All that advertisement blitzkrieg doesn't dampen the essence of Rakshabandhan, assert siblings. SANGEETHA DEVI. K reports
Have you woken up with mixed feelings, still thinking of good last minute gifts for your li'l sister? We don't blame you. Rakshabandhan is on its way to becoming yet another occasion that compels you to loosen your purse strings to be in sync with the spirit of the festival. Advertisers, shopping malls and e-commerce portals cry themselves hoarse trying to sell the best wares, but there are many who don't let gifts overshadow the occasion. Nitya Dhar, a 23-year-old accounts executive with an MNC, wound up her shopping for Rakshabandhan a fortnight ago. She diligently made a list of cousin brothers to whom she had to post rakhis. "The question of expecting lavish gifts doesn't arise in my case. Since my cousins are scattered around the country, I meet them once in a year or two. Not all my brothers send me gifts through online bookings. We look forward to the occasion, just to reassure that we are there for each other," says Nitya.Concurs Revathy Krishnan, a homemaker, "My brother works in Bangalore and I don't always get to visit him for Rakshabandhan. Sometimes, I don't even send him a rakhi. But I do call and wish him. I don't expect gifts either. But he always has something for me - a wallet, a diary or something that I can use. Between us, it's more of the spirit of the occasion than exchanging gifts."There are brothers who worry themselves silly over getting a good gift and even painstakingly browse the shade cards of nail enamels and liquid foundation. Others remain largely unaffected. S.M.V Rao, a student, says, "There's a lot of focus on gifts. But it would be silly to let that aspect overshadow the festival. Gift or no gift, I take the day as a chance to show my sister how much I care for her."Like most other festivals, Rakshabandhan too has broken the barriers of regions and religions. Actress Genelia, despite being a Catholic, celebrates Rakshabandhan and wishes her younger brother every year. "It's a sweet occasion to tell your brother how much you love him and care for him. Of course, I feel that I don't need an occasion to express my love, but I enjoy getting into the spirit of the festival." Genelia feels that commercialisation hasn't crept into too many households. She asserts, "Hype and commercialisation come with almost every festival. But even today, in most homes, Rakshabandan is celebrated in its true spirit." Finally, as actress Shriya sums up, "Every month has some special day and advertisers keep bombarding you to buy something or the other. You have to just live with it. Personally speaking, I don't throw tantrums expecting my bhaiyya to buy me something special. He does it on his own and I cherish his gifts. I still have a mala that he gave me when I was in school."