Some festivals are not entirely rooted in religious significance.
Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is one of them. This day celebrates
the bond between a brother and sister. Among the many stories
that surround the origin of Rakhi, one is related to Mahabharata.
Lord Krishna once cut his finger which then started bleeding.
Seeing this Draupadi tore a piece of cloth from her attire and
tied it on his finger to stop the bleeding. The piece of cloth then
became a sacred thread.
Likewise, later in time, legends narrate how Rani Karnavati, the
widowed queen of the king of Chittor, realised that she could
not defend against the invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat,
Bahadur Shah. She sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun and the
latter, according to one version of the story, set off with his
troops to defend Chittor.
Vibes of India tracks four Amdavadi sets of siblings…not by
birth but by choice and fastened forever by the sacred thread:
Anuj Purohit and Alfiya Khan
This touching story of Ahmedabad-based business analyst and
digital strategist Anuj Purohit upholds the secular ideals of
India. His rakhi sister Alfiya Khan has not missed a single
Raksha Bandhan day since 2015.
“She is the younger sibling of a classmate. I used to live in a
hostel and the food was miserable. She must have picked up
somewhere that I used to crave homemade food and so, one day,
she showed up with a tiffin carrier. That was the beginning of
our story. Added, she made sure that food was mild since I
cannot handle spices. Two years down the line when she took
admission into the same college, I mentored her academics. We
now live in different cities but she posts the rakhi each year,”
Dr Amreen Shaikh and Dr Shahil Shah
Ahmedabad-based researcher and educationist Dr Amreen and
Dr Shahil met during their PhD days. Dr Shahil not only guided
Amreen during her research, he also was a source of constant
motivation. Trailing the bond, she shares: “I enrolled for
research at Gujarat University in 2010. As a newbie, I was given
loads of journals and papers to read. I sat down and for want of
something else to do, I diligently started going through each
journal. Around lunch time, I was the only one sitting in the
classroom. Suddenly this person walks towards me says, ‘Chal
na lunch karte hai. Kitna padhegi ek din mein?’ I looked up and
saw an elder brother.”
Her senior, Dr Shahil, turned out to be a pillar of support. “On
one Eid, he handed out the Eidi. The following year on, I knew I
wanted to tie him in a bond forever,” she recalls.
Ayan Mansuri and Nidhi Yagnik
Amdavad-based poet, thespian and marketing strategist Ayan
Mansuri share a unique bond with Nidhi. No rakhi or gifts have
ever been exchanged but the bond they share has withstood all
tests of time. “It was like an instant connect. She was a college
senior and we auditioned together for an event. We just got
going and somehow, have each other’s back without any prompt
or need,” shares Ayan.
Jaivika and Brothers
City based brand strategist and advertising consultant Jaivika
Dabhi’s brother by birth is Sanket. She also has two rakhi
brothers, Mitesh and Ankit.
Sharing her story with Vibes of India, Jaivika says: “My father,
Ishwar Dabhi, shifted to Chhota Udepur for his job as a teacher
at Don Bosco High School. Young at heart and unmarried, he
rented a small place from one Ramesh Kaka and his wife, Bharti
Masi. They allowed only bachelors to stay in the six small
quarters built behind their home. However, my father’s bond
with the senior couple grew over time such that they allowed my
father to bring home his bride. Meanwhile, Kaka had three
children: Megha didi, Mitesh bhai and Ankit bhai. They truly
are my brothers from another mother.”
She looks back with nostalgia and relives how all the children
went to school together, studied together and played together.
“It’s been 28 years since we have been together on this journey.
We stay in different cities but we never miss Rakhi. I post my
little token of love and they all shower me with gifts and
money,” she signs out.