A new meaning to Rakshabandhan
My classroom has always meant an essential unit to me. A unit of community, a unit of society, a unit of this whole wide world. Hence every lesson I teach them, every topic that we debate upon, every value we imbibe, creates a better tomorrow in my eyes.
It was this belief of mine, that led me into redefining the festival of Rakshabandhan for my kids last year. In today’s time, as biases shatter and horizons widen, and the never-before become the ever-after, the opportunity to challenge our perspectives is knocking loud at our doorstep.
I therefore told these 7th graders that we shall, from now on, celebrate Rakshabandhan as the festival of equality, of responsibility, of standing up for each other, and of the invincible strength that each one of us carries within.
A rakhi on our wrists would henceforth say a lot more than it ever could. It will say, “I have your back”. It will say, “I will stand for you when you need me the most”. It will say, that I will take the responsibility of guarding my near and dear ones. And above all will it say, that I hold within me the immeasurable power to protect myself from all that is damaging.
It will say all of this and much more, not just in the voice of your brothers, but in the voice your teachers, your peers, your friends, your siblings, your family, and most importantly- in the voice of You!
These kids made this little promise with a big smile to me last year. They tied rakhis to each other and to me. I tied rakhis on each of their wrists.
And so this Rakshabandhan, I was eager to see if they remembered the small tradition we started for ourselves an year ago. Half expecting and half uncertain I walked into the classroom a day before this Rakhi. What I got to hear from them, was reassuring, empowering, and enriching for the time I have spent in this Fellowship so far. They shouted together in their most excited voices, ” Didi can we all tie each other rakhis in the first period itself please?”