Odisha

Pandemic Shadows Rakhi Celebrations But Fails To Dampen Spirits

Bhubaneswar: The fear of COVID-19 has eclipsed the festive fervour of Rakshabandhan celebrations this year, but has failed to dampen the spirits of siblings.

Raksha Bandhan, or Rakhi, is one of the most famous Hindu festival dedicated to siblings. While the celebrations are gala every year, this time they are a bit different amid the ongoing pandemic and the grim situation.

OMMCOM NEWS spoke to several siblings on how planned to spend the festival which falls on August 3, i.e. tomorrow.

‘Always at each other’s necks’ is how Payal and Swadesh Mohanty describe their love-hate relationship. What would have been their first Rakhi apart with Payal getting placed in an IT firm in Pune, has taken a U-turn for the duo. “I am happy that we will be spending this Rakhi together, again. An additional benefit is I can make the excuse of pandemic and not gift her anything,” quips Swadesh.

Agarwal siblings of Sangita, Sasmita, Ambika and Manoj had always made it a point to celebrate the festival together. However, with the pandemic in place, they have decided to take the festivities virtual this year. Manoj from Cuttack will be joining his sisters Sangita and Samita in Bhubaneswar and Ambika from Raipur over a Zoom call and from tying of sacred thread, feeding sweets and exchange of gifts will be online.

Most women have opted to send rakhis – some hand-made or in the shape of facemasks – through post or e-commerce firms. Nilima Patnaik, a high school teacher from Rayagada, sent a rakhi and a letter to her Nuapada-based elder brother. She says the restrictions made her realise how much she loves him.

With lockdowns in place, market places also look ghosted. Preeti Sharma, a law student, has opted to purchase an online gift hamper including a rakhi, roli, rice, a small pooja plate, sweets and a mug for her younger brother.

Little Snigdha says she and her brother will be spending this Rakhi apart even though they are in the same town since her residence has been declared a containment zone.

Vox Pop On Rakhi Celebrations Amid Corona Pandemic

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