The nation needs them more than we do: sisters of the Fauji brothers in Rakhi

With the day of independence and Raksha Bandhan falling on the same day this year, it’s double celebrations for millions of brothers and sisters in the country. But for the sisters of the brave young men of the Indian armed forces, this is a day of longing. For many of them, the simple joy of tying a rakhi to their brothers on Raksha Bandhan is a distant memory. For now, they have to make peace with posting their rakhis by mail and praying for their well-being.


The last time I tied my brother a rakhi was when he had just joined the Indian navy . after that, he was always out on this special day, says Abhigyan Grandhi, who last celebrated the festival with his brother, Lt. Commander Anvesh Murthy, nine years ago. “When we were together, we used to fight like dogs and cats. But now that he is not close to me, it saddens me not to be able to tie him a rakhi, he says. But every year, Abhigyan diligently prepares a rakhi and sends it to his brother with a box of chocolates. “This year, we expected him to be with us, but he left a few days ago. I sent it with a rakhi and some chocolates, which I am sure he will share with his colleagues on the ship. I don't care about that, since they are also like my brothers, he says, and adds: I only pray for their welfare every day.


There are many sisters like Abhigyan, who send rakhis to their fauji brothers published in distant places in the hope that the sacred thread that symbolizes love between brothers will find them in good health. “My cousin, Major Abhishek Biswas, and I are the same age and grew up together. Previously, I used to send him a rakhi no matter where he was. But since he joined the Indian Army nine years ago, things have changed. There have been times when I couldn’t even speak to him for days. Sometimes, I didn't even know where he is posted. Many times, I didn't get the rakhis I sent him, ”says Mariya Meenkshi Sanyal. But her brother always found a way to cheer her up, she says. “I was devastated when I didn’t receive my rakhi on Raksha Bandhan. But he sent me a letter saying he managed to procure a rakhi somehow and made someone tie it on his wrist, ”recalls the 31-year-old. Swathi Vuriti has a similar story to tell. in the last 14 years, her brother Sergeant Srikanth Vuriti, Indian Air Force , you have been home for Raksha Bandhan just once. reminiscing the good ol ’days when she would go shopping for rakhi with her father and how her brother would gift her money as a token of love, the 30-year-old says,“ Rakhi was a big deal at home.

HT15_RAKHI_NITISHA-GAUR We used to celebrate it with our parents and grandparents. But now, all I can do is send the rakhi by post and hope it reaches him,” she says, adding, “But as an Indian, I’m very proud that he’s serving the nation.” Fourteen-year-old Reiya Singh says she texts her cousin Lt. Paras Singh, Indian navy , and sends him handwritten letters along with a rakhi and sweets on Raksha Bandhan . “Last year we got to celebrate the festival together but this year he is sailing. So, I sent him a rakhi and a handwritten letter thanking him for helping me with Maths and Sanskrit,” she says. Ask her if she misses him and Reiya says, “I know the nation needs him more than I do, and it’s something I’m proud of. But I still miss him on Raksha Bandhan . the good thing is that we get to stay in touch through texts.” Nitisha Bhansal, who longs to spend another Raksha Bandhan with her brother Lt. Himanshu Bhansal of the Indian navy , recalls, “Every Raksha Bandhan , my brother and all our cousins used to get together to ring in the festival and I used to make delicacies such as seviyan that Himanshu loves. But after I got married and he joined the Navy everything changed. This year, I sent him a customised rakhi platter. I just hope it reached him. I know he is not allowed to wear rakhi on duty, but it gives me satisfaction to send him one nonetheless.” It’s not just the sisters of the faujis who spend Raksha Bandhan in longing. The Army personnel too wait anxiously for their sisters’ mails on Raksha Bandhan . “Our sisters always wish that we come home on Raksha Bandhan , but we don’t really get leave. However, we wait eagerly for the postman to bring the rakhis sent to us from home. That’s the wonderful thing about this festival for us faujis,” says a Lieutenant from the Indian navy .

HT15_RAKHISRINIVAS2 Or Although I didn't tie him with a rakhi, my brother was my protector. THE STRANGE STILL TODAY '

While Rakhi is a day to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters, for Srinivas Pulyapudi, brother of Kargil martyr late Major Padmapani Acharya, it is a day to honor his brother’s memory. “Though Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of the eternal bond between a brother and sister, in our home it is a day to celebrate brotherhood and camaraderie. While I may not have tied him a rakhi like our sisters did, he was always our protector - a promise he fulfilled till his dying breath, ”says Srinivas, adding,“ Though it's been 20 long years since Operation Vijay, I still miss my brother He gave his life for the country and it is a matter of pride for us that he was honored with the Maha Vir Chakra (after death). but on special days like this we can't help wishing he was here with us once again.