Don’t just jump with joy yet. We are talking about Raksha Bandhan here, which, in a few more hours will greet you through the radio with Mithun Chakraborty film songs, take over low-news hours on news channels with grainy videos of the same and spam your mobile phone with offers – on vacations, cutlery, video games and ice-cream parlours.
It’s another thing that Rakhi has turned into an asexual, homely counter-part of something like a Valentine’s Day, killing off most of what could be its charm. However, much before sms-marketing invaded your phones and life – Bollywood, systematically killed Rakhi for the country. And you don’t have to be a feminist to figure out why.
Bollywood and Rakhi, interestingly, freeze into one single image in popular memory. No, it’s not the oh-so-cute Ek Hazaron Mein song from Hare Krishna Hare Raam. Rather it’s a stock sequence that sits in one corner of every Bollywood script, where pony-tailed, talkative, dripping-sugar sister ties a Rakhi on her brother’s wrist and solemn, rising-to-the-occasion brother pledges to ‘protect’ little sister or even big sister too in certain sequences. Think Dance Dance of the Halwa wala fame. Think little boy oscillating from wide-eyed wonder to dramatic precocity as he mouths his Rakhi lines, dunked in Bollywood rhetoric of valiance. Think how, rob-the-brother Rakhi turns into save-the-sister Raksha Bandhan in one frame.
If you are a Bollywood sister, you are probably an average looking, pining side kick to a cocky leading man. You have to be rescued by the brother even in his next life (Karz) or avenged for by a lot of punching and blood-spitting (several Salman Khan films). You are the break, we need to finish our popcorn between two frames. Except for a rare instance like Juhi Chawla in My Brother Nikhil, you are no one that any one would probably fancy becoming.