Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hey Sister, Go Sister

If there is one festival/institution that has been abused to the point where it has trust issues and thinks everyone is out to get it, that festival/institution is Raksha Bandhan.

According to my extensive research there are three kinds of Rakhi sisters.

Type A: This type usually *has* a brother (or possibly two) and while she has conscientiously tied/sent him a rakhi every year, she has never quite understood what all the fuss is about. This type does NOT go around be-sister-ing every alternate male she comes across and thinks that one (or however many she has) bother brother is quite enough, thankyouverymuch.

Type B: This type of RS has no male siblings. Which means she has never had her dolls dismembered, her clean sneakers muddied and posters of her favourite cine-stars decorated with speech balloons which say, “I’m such a girl! Where is my pink tutu??” This type of RS, for reasons known only to herself, usually wants brothers. She thinks that they will be all protective (if they’re older) and adoring (if they’re younger) and usually picks one relatively sane boy (ha!) to whom she will unfailingly tie/send a rakhi every year. This type of enforced sibling-hood usually means that both parties’ feelings towards each other are severely-platonic-bordering-on-repulsion (which, in any case, is what *true* brother-sister-hood is all about anyway).

Type C: Then there is the Type C Rakhi Sister. This type of girl is frequently named after one of the more annoyingly pious women in Indian mythology, such as Parvati, or Mamta or Shraddha. She hails from a small town/repressed family where hormonal stirrings are frowned upon and can lead to only one of two conclusions: artificial siblinghood or prompt matrimony. (Cue memorable dialogue from Maine Pyaar Kiya – “Ek jawaan ladka aur ek jawaan ladki kabhi dost nahin ho sakte!”) As a result of following these bizarre practices all her life, this girl has no idea how deal with an actual crush on a member of the opposite sex and will promptly be-sister him. Come Raksha bandhan, and with great ceremony she will tie a rakhi around the hormone-affecting boy’s wrist which will enable her to do everything but err…any actual doing (until much later, anyway).

Now apart from the disturbing Freudian fallouts of such a relationship (enforced sibling-hood, i.e.), the Type C Rakhi Sister is a thorn in the side of the Rakhi brother’s hapless girlfriend. No girl is apparently good enough for her brother and while she’s too gentle and *pure* a soul to say anything against the girlfriend (god forbid!), she will drop subtle hints. In her I’m-your-loving-sister-way she will mention how “entertaining” the girlfriend is, such a barrel of laughs! And how she’s still friends with AAALLLL her exes, amazing na? She will give him missed calls when he’s with the said GF and text him endlessly till the girlfriend begins to feel like there are three people sharing that chicken-roll (or sundae or food/drink item of choice).

Initially, the girlfriend will brush it off thinking, ‘Naah, she’s just affectionate, is all’. But one day, she will walk out of class see the boyfriend’s head in the RS’s lap while she (RS) plays with his hair. Her brain will wrestle with her heart and the argument will go somewhat like this:

Brain: ARRGGGHH!! Are you bloody blind?? Don’t you see what’s happening here?
Heart: Well, uh, yes. He’s lying down with his head in her lap and she’s uhh… playing with his hair. Her hand is uhhh…inside his shirt?
Brain: You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Tell me, when was the last time you did this with YOUR brother?
Heart: Euuww!! That’s disgusting! What the HELL is wrong with you, brain!
Brain: (pointed silence)
Heart: (stunned silence)

At this point, a wise girl will realise that if she were ever asked for an example of a lose-lose situation, she would not come up short. Dumping the boy will inevitably lead to the RS ‘consoling’ the boy with many “Koi baat nahin bhai, aisi ladkiyaan bahut saari mil jaayengi”, and asking him to choose would be viewed as colossally stupid (even if perfectly legitimate). Even killing the RS will not be a solution since she’ll just have to live with the ghost of a sister past.

And when many years down the line she will go through the boy’s orkut profile and see a photograph of both of them titled ‘me and my best FRIEND (emphasis, mine) in the whole world’ she will thank her lucky stars she got out in time.


ggop said...

This is real good. I know one case of type C. They are married now. I wonder if it a case of "pehle bhaiyya, phir saiyyan" :-)

Kunal said...


Chronicus Skepticus said...

Ggop: Icky, isn't it? I wish they'd just stick to the *regular* idiotic (and definitely less creepy) things that hormones make you do anyway.

Kunal: Er...bee? Or is this not the aggressive-alphabet-recital game?

In other words, explain!

IdeaSmith said...

Oh ewww. And errrm...brilliant-o post!

Mayuresh Gaikwad said...

Infact, in a surprisingly large number of cases, they will end up as husband and wife. Seems odd, but is true. Check all rakhi-sisters and their brothers after 20 years and you'll know :)

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

You beat me to the post ... behen-jee.

??! said...

they're all posting again. and mad-chuckling brilliantly too. yay!

Never Mind!! said...

Other versions of what ggop said: "din mein bhaiyya aur raat mein Saiyyan"

"pehle sister baad mein bistar"

I completely agree with Mayuresh Gaikwad, they all end up being married after a few years. I knew a couple that started out as brother and sister, and the sister apparently "helped" the boy find his girlfriend. Recently I found the brother on Orkut with a picture of him and his then so-called sister, labelled, "Me and my beautiful wife".

Ph said...

I have no brothers. Didn't assume any. SO much better.

Revealed said...

Like ewwwww. And shuddd-ddder. And Cripes! And speechless but heartfelt silence.

Also I like the sound of the aggressive-alphabet-recital game. Can I join?

sougata said...

Why filed under Temporary Insanity? Curious minds want to know.

I have two sisters. I don't know if they have any, uh... brothers.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Smithy: I knooowww!! And umm...thank you. :)

Mayuresh Gaikwad: *sigh* No, no. I'll take your word for it. No checking required at all.

Couch: Well speed up then...bhaiyya!

??!: Aww, such a sweetie you are! Thank you (though there is such a thing as being too nice, y'know? Oh actually, forget I said that).

Never Mind: Ick! That sounds even sleazier than the last one.

I henceforth declare that Rakhi's may only be tied by siblings from the same gene pool. There!

Now if only *I* was running the world.

Ph: Smart girl, Ph! Such a pity that smartness is not contagious.

Revealed: You an' me both, Flaffy.

Oh and sure you can join, and you even get to pick your own letters (we play fair...mostly. heh).

Sougata: TI because we (embarassed cough) dated one such artificial sibling.

As in, SOMEBODY'S artificial sibling, NOT ours. (It's one of those 'what possessed me?! how could I have been *such* an idiot' things.)

And if your sisters are anything like you, I don't think they have 'uh...brothers'*. Not the type, y'see.

*Which is actually, the perfect name for 'em. 'Uh...brothers' - brilliant!

??! said...

that's actually "din mein sister, raat mein bistar".

Kunal said...

:) that eh was more of surprise than an attempt at sensible comments, dont mind...was amazed at where the post ended after where it began...

Beth said...

As usual, we are glad we are an only child.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

??!: Oh dear. I didn't think it could get any worse and then it did. :S

Kunal: Oh I don't mind. Was just baffled, I do that a lot. Don't mind. :)

Beth: *sigh* Yes. Life is so much simpler when you don't have to hide away your sneakers/candy/boyfriends.

wiseling said...

hahah. i think i love you. one is type a, btw.. :)

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Wiseling, the feeling is mutual! :D

And of *course* you're a type A - no daughter of mine will go around be-sistering more boys than she absolutely has to! The very thought.

Anonymous said...

Nice post/topic. Girls in India growing up, maybe even now, are conditioned to have only brothers/husbands as male figures in life (of peer age groups- so excludes others such as papa, chacha etc). The rakhi brothers fall in the category of "friends" in the west or "Dates" (not khajoor silly, but the one with who you go out to try everything from a kiss to a beer under the label of dating).

In India, pressure build up from both sides. If a girl has a "best friend" who is a male, the (stupid) dialogue from Maine Pyar Kiya and most of the comments here come hurling. And the funniest part is that the so called "moral police" are ones who really live in glass houses. If the guy is checking up on his good friend of many years- almost since childhood days, then he is having one in the bed and one in the bazaar. Or as someone told me, This is Bombay Yaar- a guy has his wife in the home-ek hi bldg mein, wing A mein biwi in Wing B, mistress.

If Indians allowed children to date, explore friendships and accept that some of them may end up as marriage then maybe this syndrome of rakhi brothers(and sisters) and marrying them may disappear. But as if it is not enough that dating and friendship of the opposite sex is strictly frowned upon, the real crux of the issue is when it comes to marriage, it has to be"Hamari Biradari Se". So there! The conspiracy is much deeper than you think it is and more than just a din mein bhaiya syndrome. What happens then is that normally all the so called sisters and rakhi brothers who marry each other are doing nothing but falling into the age old wisdom of marrying your best friends.

This is after exploring and experiencing, and finding out that the Mills & Boon romance, true love and soul mates of english movies,and hindi movies ka tapasya of sindoor and karva chauth are normally nothing but b***s**t. So they all live happily ever. Why do the ones who do not find this happy medium, find it a topic to be of so much gossip and bitching is not yet clear to me. But when I do, I promise an update to this comment! Just one of those things that lives and thrives in Indian society since eons, under different names. You know, you can blame Indians for many things,hypocrisy among the many titles. But you cannot blame Indians for not for being practical.

As for the wise girl situation/orkut future etc. Incest (ual feelings) is incest- whether tied by rakhi or by blood!

rgc said...

I know a lot of Type B sisters. They are only kids. They revel in being the masters of the house and doting daughters of daddies. And while they love their freedom around the house, they would love to have rakhis sent out to brothers so that the 'I have a brother'/'i once sent a rakhi to you' obligation is intact.