Just Emkaying: The Rakhi System

Aug 10, 2014

The Rakhi System

Raksha Bandhan to me has always been an alien festival. Partly because I've spent most of my time as an unknown entity at Boarding school, followed by religious abstinence in the guise of a paying guest, followed by self imposed one girl only philosophy (which in hindsight was a terrible idea at age 12). And the rest of the time honing my "awkward" skills in general public, and of recent on twitter.

The only Rakhi I remember then, and recently has been one of dearest cousin sis who judiciously couriered it across to someone who could get it to me. Of course now that I'm in Mumbai I just go over. (vs. a phone call ten times in 2 minutes reminding me of who's boss - my nieces) I might not say it, but beneath this tough looking exterior lies a sucker for these kinda things. (sniff)

But this post is not about the beautiful relationship that is the crux of Raksha Bandhan. This is about the School version of Rakhi.

Except for the last few years, I have spent most of the time wondering why Shilpa front third bench wanted to tie a rakhi to every guy in the class, and why Alisha from I don't know which section, came over one day of the year, for 4 years in succession, to tie a rakhi to the one guy who everyone knew was hitting on her. Strangely the "rakhi" that she tied had hardly anything "rakish" about it. I strongly believe that she felt the Happy Bandhan part was more relevant of the words on that day.

You see, the age I grew up in, a rakhi tied at a school by a non blood relative, was a bond that you had to hold up to show your dedication - of having taking one for the team / Male fraternity. People wore them for years, even if the girl who tied it under peer pressure hardly knew your name and disowned you the next minute. (insert Trauma here) And "Raksha Bandhan" day was when cool boys claimed tummy ache to avoid going to school and being tied a rakhi. You could smell the fear in the air. Plans and counter strategies were made to avoid spending any free time in the corridors where both genders mingled. All attention was driven to have scouts who gave you a heads up when a suspicious looking troop of girls walked towards you. These operations were driven with an intensity that would put the Marine Corp to shame.

And these rakhi assassins moved in groups. If you were tied a rakhi, it wasn't just one. It was a bunch of them in glittering, mirrorish, hues of all colours. I remember once when the head boy of my class had to go back to the class room from PT hour to get something, and got ambushed by a whole set of girls whom he had never even seen. At the end of it when he came back to the play ground, his rolled back down sleeves told a story of a fallen comrade, arm fulls of rakhis. I vaguely remember that we had sworn revenge to the Universe or something of that sort. Lasted a full 2 days till the hormones kicked in on sports day. Meh.

Of course eventually the boys got smarter and realized this was a legit way of chatting to a girl right under the noses of the professors. For the records, I acknowledge that girls are the smarter bunch. They had figured this out ages ago.

I can definitely say that I've NEVER got a Rakhi in school. NEVER. And this was when I was way way shorter so I could pass as cute, cuddly and cheeky, as opposed to the current OgreThe Hound erm ...Prince charming.

(So much Stud feeling coming)

Of course Rakhi also had its uses of "Bhaiya-ing" guys into averting their adoration elsewhere. I mean who wants to be a fake Bhaiya anyway. Like this one time a girl in our class tied a Rakhi to 28 boys out of 29. Such a subtle hint to the number 29 of our class.

By the time we were in college, I think this Juvenile behavior had given way to the more ingenious, direct friendship bands. Which was basically a "Jump-to-the-front-of-the-huge-line-of-boys-waiting-to-talk-to-me" card. Of course if you were a guy, then it was a way to establish that you exist in the same classroom, usually on the bench just behind your crush and on the next roll number on the attendance sheet.

Of late am not sure what's happening at schools, I wonder if the kids of today have managed to go beyond the follies of Gen Y. (That's us) Maybe with the advent of technology you could easily bro zone someone without the need for thread, which makes it that much more environmentally sustainable. It's also more fashionable to just threaten to bro zone people on Facebook or Twitter, and that itself is sufficient to tame the over eager guys.

What has been your experience at school? Leave a comment!


PS: All names of the people in this post have been changed to protect their privacy, because in the rare event that 10 years down the line they suddenly remember that it vaguely refers to them, they might have a smart ass relative who'd be fresh out of law school and suggest that they sue me. Even though they STILL won't know who I was at school.

No comments:

Post a Comment