COVID ties rakhi celebrations to post, video calls

New Delhi: Nidhi Rawat has got a sweet tooth and her brother, who lives in Mumbai, brings her 'Bombay halwa' on Raksha Bandhan every year. This year, he won't come home.

Pummy Saini sent a rakhi and a letter to his Ahmedabad-based elder brother and nephew. She says the restrictions made her realise how much she loves them.

Like Rawat and Saini, many women will not be able to tie rakhi to their brothers due to the coronavirus-induced travel restrictions. Most of them have opted to send rakhi — some hand-made or in the shape of masks — through post or e-commerce firms.

"He is my younger brother and he knows I have got a sweet tooth," Rawat said. "He brings me Bombay halwa every time."

The Delhi-based banker says she talks to him over video call everyday, but expressed sadness that she "won't be able to hug him" on Raksha Bandhan on August 3.

The woman visited the post office twice, but returned seeing the long queues as more and more people have been sending rakhis through post.

"So, I decided to send rakhi through an e-commerce website," she said. "I also had the option to send a gift along with it."

Having lost her father early, Delhi-based teacher Saini recalls that her brother, who is eight years older, took care of her since she was a child.

"He left the city when he got a job in Ahmedabad. He last came home in December," she said. "The restrictions due to the pandemic have made me realise how much I love him."

Nisha Yadav's brother, who has been living in Rohtak, Haryana, for the past 10 years, used to make sure he brings her a gift on the festival.

"I sent him a handmade rakhi through post. I know he will love it," Yadav said.

Rashmi Gupta, a resident of Mayur Vihar, knew his brother won't be able to travel from Coimbatore to Delhi. So, she made a mask-shaped rakhi and sent it through speed post 10 days ago so that it reaches him in time.

"He comes every year.... The Tamil Nadu government has stricter quarantine rules for interstate travellers. So, it's 100 per cent not possible," she rued.

Gupta feels it is wise for people to wait out this period, and cause no harm to themselves and others.

The brothers, too, have been feeling nostalgic.

Vikas Tripathi says travelling to his sister's place in Allahabad is not possible due to the pandemic.

"Also, her family got affected by the virus and are under quarantine. So, I will wish her over a video call," the media professional


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