For my kids, the meaning and depth of the relationship is not yet understood, for them it is about getting a 'mickey mouse rakhi' or a 'car rakhi'. It means eating chocolates and getting gifts. But for us grown-up's it is an entirely different feeling.
Consciously keeping away from the recent commercialization of the festival, I was happy to chose a 'traditional Kurta' to gift to my brother. I know he loves the kurtas from the 'Handloom House', so it was an easy task. I spent sometime selecting from the choice of available designs of Rakhi. I know he is choosy about what to wear and what not to wear even when it comes to a rakhi. That's how he is and I tried my best to select what he would like. I selected a couple of them, before I came across the 'sandalwood' rakhi. I knew he would love it and picked it up too.
Unfortunately, the chocolates that I had picked up got melted by the time I reached his house in Noida. More importantly, he was very disappointed that I had not brought the traditional sweets. I was speechless for a moment. Suddenly a lot of our childhood memories flashed through my mind. When we stayed in Gole Market, my mother used to send us two to the 'Bangla Sweet Shop' to bring the sweets of our choice. I have seen my brother go through the different choices on display with lot of interest and almost always he would decide to buy an assorted collection of as many bengali sweets as possible. 'Buying and eating sweets' was half the fun of the festival. Adulteration in sweets and 'health consciousness' has taken away the biggest pleasure of festivals. But I felt guilty. Next time, I am celebrating the festival with traditional sweets, even if it means making some at home.
My mother advised us to stay away from 'expensive gift exchange' and we agreed. My brother took me out to the Mall to buy me a 'kurta-churidar'. It was lovely to go out with my brother, while my husband and bhabhi took care of the kids at home. This was the perhaps the first time, we went out shopping together after years. I am an un-usual woman who gets stressed even at the idea of shopping and it was such a pleasure to have my brother select the dress for me. I simply went by his choice. The dress he selected is very beautiful white and golden in colour. What is more important for me is that when I will wear it, I will be wearing the 'love' with which he selected the dress for me. I felt like the most special sister on that day. That's the reason, I love this festival. It simply rocks.