Rakhi: Jamshedpur’s special tradition of trust and affection

Culture, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, Kolhan No Comments on Rakhi: Jamshedpur’s special tradition of trust and affection 116

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Jamshedpur, Aug 2: An insignificant piece of thread assumes an indelible significance when a woman ties it around the wrist of her brother as a symbol of continued reassurance signifying affection and trust. Why is Jamshedpur being sorted out from this national festive celebration? The reason may not be far to seek as the city has a tradition that has seen scores of people, hitherto unknown, suddenly becoming brothers and sisters for posterity. On this special occasion, one Roshan Lal who had come from distant Manprey village of Rajasthan way back in the early half of 1920 to land a job in that time Tisco, sat weeping in the evening at a coworker and friend’s house missing his sister. That was Raksha Bandhan day, 100 years ago. Roshan’s crying melted the heart of his friend’s wife who immediately came out with a length of red, sewing thread and tied it around this doting man’s right wrist. A relation that began then continued till long after Roshan Lal had retired and returned to his native village in Rajasthan. Roshan’s sons and Mehhrunnissa’s (yes that was her name) daughters continued this tradition and if the records are straight, that tradition continues to flower among the descendents of the two families. That continues to remain a symbol of love and trust that has deleted all manmade barriers. This is not hearsay as the author’s grandmother had narrated this to him. Meherunnissa was her neighbor in the adjoining Tisco quarter and they were the best of friends.

Raksha Bandhan may be traced back to the Purans where there is mention of the power of this bond. Goddesses Lakshmi wanted to release Lord Vishnu and on Narada’s advise, took the form of a common woman and went to demon king Bali. She tied a piece of thread to his right wrist. Bali blessed Her and asked Her for a wish. Goddess Lakshmi wanted Lord Vishnu and King Bali granted Her the wish. This tradition has gained grounds through time and today, these threads in their simple, traditional and designer forms shine at market places for sisters to make their picks from mind-boggling arrays. The sisters pray for the long and happy lives of their brothers.

With instances of puppy love, plutonic love going up to the levels of unholy relationships and the occasional love that goes up to the alter to pronounce, “…to remain together in life and in death…” the significance of brother-sister relationship may have dwindled but not faded out. They need not be siblings or cousins but may be God’s gift to those who have no brother or a sister. Such people find the same joy on Rakhi Purnima day. May be they are not blood relations but their bond is thicker than those of many.

Thakur Ramkrishna had once observed, “Look at a woman’s feet first and then at her face. You will perceive a glow of mother in her.”

Next time, try it or remember that the lady you are looking at is someone’s mother, sister or wife.

Blessed are those who have sisters. Happy Raksha Bandhan to all.

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