Bonds of Love

Bonds of Love

Perhaps nowhere else in the world is the brother-sister relationship celebrated in such an endearing manner as in our country. What sisters tie around the wrists of their brothers on Raksha Bandhan are more than just colourful threads and decorative strings – they are symbols of love, affection and an enduring bond between the two. It does not matter much if the two are biologically related to each other. This was the essence of the Rakhsa-Bandhan celebration at a play school in Thane.

The Garden School celebrated the occasion of Raksha Bandhan in a unique way as little schoolgirls aged between two and half and three and a half years tied rakhis to boys of the same age. A day before the event, these little kids were acquainted with the significance of Rakhsa Bandhan – what it stands for and why. Parents of girls were asked to get rakhis and those of boys would get gifts. To ensure fair play, the school discouraged expensive gifts and rakhis and instead announced special prizes for the most innovative Rakhis and Gifts that would capture the imagination of the kids and also fascinate them. Parents were asked to bring rakhis and gifts on Friday itself so that they could be arranged well in advance.

What made this event really special was that the children were asked to select their own brothers and sisters. While boys could pick a sister they would most like to present the gift, girls could choose their rakhi-brother. Surprisingly, this whole pick-and-choose business went on quite smoothly as the little angles quickly became brother-sister pairs. They were then given the traditional aarti tray with kumkum, sweets and rakhi.

Imelda Rebello, one of the staff at Garden school, made an interesting observation, "It is not easy for a child to give away a neatly packed gift to another child. But we were surprised to see that the boys handed over the gifts which they had brought quite willingly to their brand new sisters".

Another staff member, Greta Dantin added "The gifts and rakhis were really nice. There was a rakhi made of tri-colour, another one had a miniature coconut on it with grains of rice. Among the gifts there was a bag with the School’s logo beautifully embroidered on it and a jewellery set made by a grandma of one of the boys.

I love my India
The Garden School also celebrates the country’s independence in a special way. The commemoration begins 15 days in advance, on August 01 when these pre-school kids are taught portions of the Pledge and informed and educated about India. Throughout the fortnight, kids indulge in various activities that are designed to inculcate a sense of patriotism early on.

Everything done during these 15 days reinforces the importance of Independence. Instead of the regular nursery rhymes, patriotic songs are played during the 15-day run-up to the Independence Day. Whichever child celebrated his or her birthday during these 15 days had special tri-colour candles on the cake. Rebello says "Curiosity often prompts the children ask why the tricolour and such acts go a long way in implanting the seeds of love for the country."  

On August 15, after the flag hoisting and singing of the national anthem, every child walks up to the stage dressed up as a national hero (not a   political leader, mind you) and utter a one-liner about freedom. This act builds confidence in the little children and once again reinforces a sense of nationalism.

After the celebrations, children are served with a sandwich, once again made out of the tri-colour – with sauce on top, cheese spread in centre and green chatni below.

Finally the children are presented with a book wrapped with a tri-colour ribbon and balloon and told, "If you wish to serve your country, you must first study well."

Judging by the celebrations, the last fortnight was eventful for the little children from Garden School – and whichever way you look at it, they learnt important lessons in love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *