For the longest time I was a brother with many sisters. Life was good; even when it included my being dressed-up in berets, bows, and whatever else my sisters made me wear. The brother/sister relationship is one of the most special you can have. I am both a younger brother and an older brother. I love and cherish my roles respectively, and love it more when those relationships expand (to include your mom’s sisters, and my brother’s/friend’s significant others.)
The brother/sister relationship is the foundation of my favorite personal “holiday”, Raksha Bandhan. As rituals go, I tend not to be a fan. But this one is untouchable and beautiful to me. You can read the background on Wikipedia or elsewhere so I’ll spare you a deeper dive, but here’s my quick rundown on what it is and why it matters. If you’re lucky enough to have a sister, you’re blessed. This blessing is memorialized once each year when the sister ties a Rakhi (simple, beautiful thread) on the wrist of her brother, serving as a symbol of her blessings and her protection. In return, the brother gives his sister gifts, as recognition of both his luck (for receiving that love) and as acknowledgement of the fact that he’s trying his best to repay a debt he’ll never actually be able to. Money for eternal blessings, love, and protection. Sure, I know there’s obviously a lot of stuff going back to the sister on this front, and they’re kind of lucky too, but as A brother, I feel like this is pretty one-sided leaving me the beneficiary.
Over the past 8 weeks, you’ve met a number of your brothers. Some have held you and made you cry (Karan, you’re never going to live this down, bro, even though it’s not true — it is a fun story,) some have held you and pointed out that they didn’t make you cry right after the fact (Mundeep, way to seize the opportunity), and some have simply wanted you to say hi and taken sheer bliss from it (Arj, happy you got your wish).
This weekend you got to spend time with the brother who’s closes in age to you, your Hukam Veerji. What a great weekend together, and we ended it in style. You were super comfortable in his lap, and he was super comfortable with you in it. We’ll be retaking this exact picture over time.
With Hukam Veerji on his way back home, now only a couple of hours a way (how awesome is that?), I realize that today my love for you finds its way to you through your brothers. The boys who make me feel blessed because of the roles they are all going to play in your life, and who you will have the opportunity to love, bless, and protect as my sisters have done for me.
Man, I can’t wait for your first Raksha Bandhan. You’ve got a lot of love to give, don’t you munchkin.