Yes, I’ve been told that such a stress ex­ists. Pre­sent­ing views of pyaare bhais and behnas

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Leisure - SONAL KALRA Sonal Kalra is think­ing of open­ing a paid, an­nual Rakhi help ser­vice to help bechaarey bhai-be­hen choose gifts. Chalo, agli Rakhi ke gifts ke liye ho gaya kaam. Those in­ter­ested, mail at sonal.kalra@hin­dus­tan times.com or face­book.com/ sonal

Why do you look so has­sled?’, I asked Mukesh, one of the of­fice boys who’s oth­er­wise al­ways seen smil­ing from north to south pole. ‘Ma’am mu­jhe kal se Rakhi ki chinta khatam hi nahi ho rahi’, he replied. ‘Biwi ki chin­taa karna chhod do, woh toh khud apne aap mein ek chinta hoti hai’, I said, pat­ting my own back for the silly joke. ‘It’s not my wife’s name, I’m talk­ing about the fes­ti­val’, he grinned.

‘My sis­ter tied Rakhi to me yesterday for the first time af­ter she got mar­ried two months back. I’m not sure if what I gave her was enough. Sa­sur­aal mein uski iz­zat rakhni hai’. The Nirupa-Roy-in-1970s mu­sic sud­denly started play­ing in my mind and I was about to be­gin a lec­ture on how re­gres­sive it is to stress about dena di­laana in to­day’s age, when he took off.

Later in the day, a free­wheel­ing chat with a few in­terns in my of­fice made me re­alise that it’s me, not Mukesh, who needs a lec­ture in not keep­ing up with the times.

Ap­par­ently, the ‘Rakhi-stress’ never went any­where over the years, it smartly rein­vented it­self into a new-age source of ten­sion. Well, I have eleven fab­u­lous broth­ers, and I’ve al­ways en­joyed Rak­sha Band­han as that rare and beau­ti­ful oc­ca­sion to meet up with many of them to­gether. But these young boys and girls shared their own take on the kind of stress, too, that this fes­ti­val brings with it­self.

Of course, how dif­fer­ently guys and girls view this stress is ob­vi­ous, yet in­ter­est­ing. Let’s take a look...

The guys’ take

Rakhi is sup­posed to in­crease bond­ing, but makes some of us feel like bonded labour when we have to save up for the ex­pen­sive gifts. ‘Sis­ters ex­pect so much when it comes to gifts they want, and don’t even hes­i­tate in re­mind­ing us through the year’, sighed an 18-year-old, not want­ing to be named for the fear of taanas at home.

Oth­ers around him were quick to add: ‘The mar­ket­ing gim­micks of com­pa­nies don’t help and nor does the fact that Rakhi comes around the sale sea­son’. ‘My sis­ters de­mand top brands, chahe meri pocket mein paise ho yah nahi. Woh ke­hti hain tumhaara farz hai’, said another, adding, ‘Ar­rey farz hai toh mu­jhe apni marzi se karne do nah. Why put pres­sure?’

Also, the Rakhi gifts these days are not lim­ited to some to­ken money and a box of choco­lates. ‘My sis­ter asked for a week­end pack­age to a lux­ury spa or the latest smart­phone’, sighed Mr anony­mous. ‘Main loan le loon toh bhi nahi de sakta’, he laughed.

An ad­di­tional stress is on those who have mar­ried, es­pe­cially new­ly­wed­ded sis­ters. sis­ters Ap­par­ently, Ap­par­ently the Rakhi gift is judged big time by some in-laws and ex­tends even to re­spected ji­jaji, as it’s an in­di­ca­tion of the sta­tus. ‘What­ever we buy, it some­how doesn’t seem good enough. Aur do mahine baad Bhai Duj will come. Hamara toh band ba­jta hi ra­hega’, summed up the guys.

The girls’ take

‘Don’t make us a scape­goat if you can’t deal with your kan­joosi’, screamed out the gang of gals when I asked them to re­act on this topic. ‘What’s wrong with me telling my brother what I want on Rakhi be­cause he’s any­way gonna spend money, and will end up get­ting some­thing not of my lik­ing’, said one Jhansi ki Raani.

‘And now even broth­ers ex­pect re­turn gifts, so the pres­sure is equally on us’, added another. ‘Rit­u­als are a part of our fes­ti­vals fes­ti­vals, we’ve not made any new rules. My brother has all the money to spend on his girl­friend on Valen­tine’s Day. When it comes to Rakhi, he’s sud­denly broke’, pitched another.

‘My brother is mar­ried and I made sure I bought a sil­ver rakhi that my bhabhi can wear as a pen­dant later. When I can spend so much on the rakhi, he can hardly crib about spend­ing on my gift’, ar­gued a girl.

Calm­ness take

Okay, okay war­ring par­ties. Take it easy. Yaar ty­ohaar hai... woh bhi pyaar-mo­hab­bat ka. So ar­gu­ing any­way doesn’t stand much of a chance be­cause de­spite the dif­fer­ence in opin­ion, it’s the brother-sis­ter bond that’ll in­vari­ably take over. In my hum­ble view, the only calm­ness mantra when it comes to Rakhi-stress com­prises two magic words – ‘No ex­pec­ta­tions’. Iss baar ka toh ho gaya jo hona t tha, next time ke liye hi sahi.

Ac­tu­ally, this mantra works in all other stresses as well but fo­cussing on the sub­ject, justju imag­ine how peace­ful it wouldw be if we stopped ex­pectin­gin a cer­tain treat­ment from an­oth­eran per­son. More than the ac­tu­alac be­hav­iour of that per­son,so it’s the pain of our own ex­pec­ta­tion­sex go­ing un­ful­filled thatth hurts us.

Dekho, ad­ver­tis­ers ka toh kaamka hai aapke emo­tions ko ex­ploitex karna. They have vest­edve in­ter­est in cre­at­ing a make-be­lievema per­fect uni­verse be­fore­bef ev­ery fes­ti­val and ev­ery oc­ca­sion.occ In this imag­i­nary uni­verse,un sis­ters get di­a­monds and smart­phones, and broth­ers get sis­ters who give a teary-eyed thank-youtha hug on re­ceiv­ing a box of choco­lates. Both don’t ex­ist in real life, ex­cept, of course, ex­cep­tions.

Don’t base your ex­pec­ta­tions on ex­cep­tions, base it on the re­al­ity of your life. If you are a sis­ter, your love for your brother is not packed in an ex­pen­sive rakhi, it ac­tu­ally lies in un­der­stand­ing the depth of your brother’s pock­ets. And for the broth­ers, just one ad­vice – Cri­sis ke waqt sabse zyada behnein hi kaam aati hain, so this in­vest­ment in un­con­di­tional love is quite worth it. Try it.

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