Published in HT 4th Aug 2012
It was a sheer delight to see a school girl tying up a bond of protection to a tree. The sight of the picture in HT dated 2nd Aug. came to me as more of a joy than a surprise though.
My memory took a flash back to the days when I was a growing kid. Being a single child the festival of Raksha Bandhan would have gone waste on me but for my mother’s greater understanding.
Every year she would purchase a number of coloured strings with soft pompoms of varied hues in the centre. One of those she would tie on my wrist as a promise of her love and protection to her gift – me, a ‘girl child’ the Lord had bestowed on her and the rest she would give me to tie around the household belongings. So our television, refrigerator, sewing machine, window grills all got the colour of a celebration of thanksgiving to them for serving me and a promise in turn from me to take care of them.
My friends who saw this ritual used to giggle and tease me about my numerous brothers and to some extent they succeeded in embarrassing me. As an adult today I realize their as well as my failure to understand the significance of those colours on strings. Beyond their attractive shades, they were a reminder of a sense of oneness leading to responsibility. Those were not ordinary strings but strings that tied me to everything around me with a care and understanding.
Today, as I see this picture, I understand that if only the world had more mothers like mine there would be no fear of global warming for sure. And yet I hope it’s better late than never.