31 July, 2020
With the onset of Shravan month, it is going to be the festival season for most Indians; Nag Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, Varamahalakshmi Pooja, Gowri Ganesha, Bakrid, etc. are just a few of the festivals coming up. What is going to be different about these festivals is that you need to plan well in advance about why you can do and how. The Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire in most states, and there are either partial or full lockdowns going on everywhere. We also have floods affecting a few states, taking a toll on lives as well.
However, as the wise say, the show must go on; and celebrating festivals with our near and dear ones, is something that can put us in a bright mood. There is every possibility that we may have to do so virtually. But, that should not dampen our spirits and we need to hold on to any sense of positivity and togetherness as we can. This year, plan to celebrate the Rakshan Bandhan a little differently. And plan well ahead to ensure that your bond of brother/sister can sustain even in these difficult times.
One of the most important aspects of Raksha Bandhan is the tying of Rakhi to the brother, accompanies by an Arti, Tilak and eating of sweets. The brother and sister also gift each other in many households. In the current times, even if you happen to live in the same city, you may not be able to visit each other. If you are able to do so, nothing like it, and you are lucky. But if not, and you do not want to take last minute chances, and then please well ahead for the Rakhi and the gifts.
Online deliveries are now being allowed even through the lockdown in most cities but may be delayed at times. Courier services are also working in most parts of the country. If you want to order Rakhis/gifts/sweet boxes, etc. please order in advance to avoid any issues or delays in delivery. It doesn’t matter if these reach your loved ones a little earlier, but better than being late.
Make your own Rakhis/gifts
Every troubled situation like this also offers us some once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity as well; do something differently. Create your own Rakhis and gifts and then courier them across to your loved ones. There are many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) videos that can help you with it if you have no idea how to go about it.
In the simplest method, all you need is some nice coloured threads, and if you can add on some accompaniments to it like beads and sequins, then well and good. Remember, it is the emotion behind the creation that counts, and your loved ones are sure to love it, even if it may not look as perfect as a purchased one. You could use simple weaving techniques with embroidery or silk threads, knots, braiding, and more to create simple Rakhis.
For gifts, you could choose to create a collage of childhood snaps and stick them together in some funny or innovative ways. You could even choose to do a digital collage by using many of the apps that help you work with photos. Those who are into knitting could knit a sweater or a cap, or you could even create some simple handmade cards to express your emotions.
Virtual get together
On the Raksha Bandhan day (3rd August), plan a virtual get together with all brothers and sisters. Let the Rakhis and gifts be displayed, and the joy be shared. Share the DIY ideas for everyone, exchange the recipes, have some fun, do something special like playing Antakshari, etc. You could have a virtual feast together by enjoying your cooking. You could share anecdotes, and click pics of this virtual celebration, just to treasure it later on, and see how you held on to the bonding during a tough time. We need not allow the pandemic to dampen out festive spirits and should look at innovative ways to hold on to our tradition. Let this festive and family spirit prevail and help us tide through these tough times.
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