A big part of Rakshabandhan is about admiring—or cringing at—rakhis, that come in all kinds of colours, shapes and sizes. From plain and sober, to out-of-the-world outlandish.
Besides the classically simple red and ochre yellow threads, there is a rich cornucopia on display in rakhi stalls every year, for sisters to pick and choose from. Like much else, the variety to choose from only keeps going up. Until some years ago, the choice was mostly between rainbow and golden plastic fibres, peacock feathers and paisley designs with with laces of fake pearls, each larger than the next.
Like this one that Sonakshi Sinha tied around Kapil Sharma's wrist:
In recent times however, Indian rakhi designers and manufacturers seem to have taken to contemporary influences very seriously: enter the markets the day before rakhi, and it soon turns into a feverish search amidst a motley assemblage of Indian and western superheroes, beloved cartoon figures, neon-lit cars, iPhone-inspired boxes that actually ring -- all strung onto threads and vying for your attention.
Then, there are rakhis that kill two birds with one stone, such as this Hello Kitty design that comes with an attached sharpener, just in case your brother needs to be rescued from a blunt pencil emergency.
But this year, there's a new sheriff err... prime minister in Rakhi town. Yesterday, ANI UP tweeted a photograph of a cartoon Modi rakhi available in the markets of Kanpur, which kind of takes the cake.
The Namo cartoon is definitely more adorable than Rakhi Sawant's Modi-inspired black leather dress. Then again, almost anything would be, but we still simply can't even...
Modi Rakhis seen in markets in Kanpur ahead of Raksha Bandhan festival pic.twitter.com/JagbBn01Mj— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 17, 2016
People throng markets in Moradabad on the eve of Raksha Bandhan celebrations; Doraemon, Angry birds rakhis in demand pic.twitter.com/AUQBLQI2ia— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 17, 2016
For the more conservative lot, who just want to keep their brothers out of trouble, there were evil eyes and religious figures:
In Bengaluru, on the other hand, Chotta Bheem and Angry Birds rakhis seem to be in demand:
Kanpur: Unusual Rakhis taking over market ahead of Raksha Bandhan festival pic.twitter.com/xB6NMWXZ4A— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 17, 2016
On balance though, nothing has quite managed to top the Namo rakhi.
It's a Modi win, mitron!