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NEW-AGE EXPRESSIONS: There are rakhis for children with cartoon and animation characters embossed on them.
BANGALORE: Tens of thousands of women in the city are taking time off to look for what is essentially a bit of string to tie on male wrists on Tuesday.
On the eve of Raksha Bandhan, shopkeepers across the city were kept busy with the sale of rakhis, the powerful symbol of brother-sister relationship, in the run-up to the festival.
From being mere interwoven threads in the past, rakhis have been transformed with embellished motifs and sequins, beads and tinsel as well as splendidly studded with kundans.
Women are seeking chains for the amulets, which are sometimes made of gold. “Many customers throng to get bracelets during this season. Many also opt for watches instead of rakhis as they are constantly worn around the wrist,” a jeweller said.
A few rupees to a few hundreds (to thousands if it is gold), rakhis are available to suit all budgets. If a rakhi bought from a high-end gift store costs Rs. 200, it could cost not more than Rs. 80 at a street-side shop. You can also get a plain one for just Rs. 5.
There are the puja thalis, consisting of a lamp, a small cup of rice mixed with vermilion for the tilak, a couple of chocolates and of course the sacred amulet, which ranges from Rs. 60 to Rs. 199. Jairaj, a shop owner, said the demand for these sets were as much for the rakhis themselves.
For young ones
Attractions for children are aplenty. Special rakhis are available with cartoon and animation characters embossed. Batman and Spiderman figures etched on the amulets are popular. “My brother Bharat, who is seven, loves cars. So I'm choosing one of his favourites,” said Rohini, who managed to spot one.
For Subhashini, Rakshabandan is the only day to express love and care towards her brother. “We hardly tell each other how much we care about each other as we are quarrelling all the time. This is the only occasion when my irritating brother can understand that I [love] him,” she said of her older sibling.
Certainly the rakhi relationship goes beyond shared DNA, as so many friends and neighbours who have grown up together will vouch for.
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