Raksha Bandhan 2017

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7th August 2017, 9.30 am
Scrolling through my social media feed, seeing pictures and posts from friends and family makes me long for home. Festivals are best celebrated with friends and family.

I’m sitting here in my office, watching the clock ticking, waiting for the post to arrive, waiting for my rakhi. Waiting to click myself and send her a picture, to share my joys, and see her exhilarate with happiness.

13.00ish
My rakhi arrives and I’m elated with joy, like a little kid with a lollipop in Disneyland. I flaunt it and show it to everybody around at work, with a baby like “Yayyyyyy”!!

Living afar for long has made me realize how important family relations are and how I can never forsake family or friends. I feel sometimes it’s a struggle to live abroad.

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For the ones unaware, Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is an annual festival affirming the affection and kinship between brothers and sisters. I have always been fond of my sisters. Growing up together we have so many memories of our mischiefs. Being around them makes me realize I haven’t actually grown up. Hence, Raksha Bandhan has always been special. It used to be an excuse for us to gather together, share laughs, stories, joke around and of course, eat good food. Through the course of time, the geography has changed, the distance has made it difficult to personally meet. But every year no matter wherever I am, whatever part of the world, I receive my rakhis.

Before technology, you know how people exchanged letters and Rakhi always came along with a letter. Even today, my sisters have kept the tradition going, I guess it’s become a habit. My post envelope had a short letter accompanying my Rakhi. All of us a funny “Nick Name” as kids and my letter is always addressed with my funny childhood nick name.

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The Monday of 7th August was a little brighter than most Mondays. 🙂

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Diwali ’16

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Diwali, some say gets its name from Sanskrit word “Deepavali”, meaning row of lights. Being arguably the biggest festival in India, it is celebrated for different reasons across the country. The northern part celebrate as a homecoming of Lord Ram, some symbolise it as Goddess Durga defeating Narakasura, others associate not with last harvest before winters. For Jains it marks the nirvana of Lord Mahavira and for Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Ji was freed from imprisonment on this day. So there’s lot to celebrate. It falls on a new moon day and the lighted diyas represents hope of finding light in the darkness or achieving knowledge when there is ignorance.

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I always believed there are 2 parts of every festival- the fun part and the boring part. Chores like cleaning and tidying up the house and praying bored me a bit during the festivals. But as a kid, I used to focus on the fun part, like playing colours in Holi, lighting up divas and candles and bursting crackers for Diwali.

Traditionally, I have been celebrating Diwali by decorating our house with clay lamps and candles and draw a coloured pattern, called Rangoli, at the entrance of the house. As far back as I can remember in the past, I have been putting on something ethnic and we meet friends, relatives, exchange sweets and burst firecrackers. The place looks vibrant, bright and lit up.

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I was celebrating this Diwali at home after a long long time. Festivals are best celebrated with friends and family, and Diwali’16 was a special one for me.

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