a few weeks ago rakhi happened.
we celebrate rakhi and i have since i was little.
the concept of rakhi is..
is a ritual!? betweens brothers and sisters. sisters tie string bracelets on the brothers wrists and brothers give gifts and money to the sisters. Why? a symbol of love and protection!? thats what google said.
Google tells me the ritual is to 'tighten the bond of love' and happens on a full moon. i have done this ritual, i do this ritual with the brothers in my family. i give them a cheap string bracelet and feed them some luddo and then they give me money. i like this ritual.
i however never remember when its the day for this ritual, im reminded by mom or my aunties and i'm given the bracelets for the ritual. i don't do anything in preparation and wouldn't notice if rakhi never happened again
this year on rakhi i happen to be with all my brothers, cousins but really brothers. i'm placing bracelets on 5 boys. my boys, some men, some nearly men. i'm the eldest to them, bar one, Kiron, he's not here.
i love these boys. i love them fiercely and i don't see them enough.
i do the ritual kind of quickly because i need to catch my train. i kiss them all and leave. i should of stayed and took more pictures and ate sweets i think.
on the train i see i've got a missed call off my mom. i don't ring her back. i'm that child but instead i start to think about my mom, how she might be feeling today. she has done this ritual many more times than me, with her brothers.
i need to correct myself, its brother, not brothers. just one.
use to be 2 but one died, one committed suicide.
my stomach does that thing when you remember something terrible. it feels tender. she can't do this ritual, put rakhi on her little brother today. she can't. i want to cry for her but instead i just think about them, sister and brother. i take the faces i've seen in old photos and put them into motion. i imagine, them as kids hitting each other, teenagers screaming at each other and adults laughing with each other.
how does my momma feel today? inconsolable i imagine
i thought after my uncle died, together as a unit, as a tribe we would arm ourselves with anything and everything we could find to make sure it didn't happen again. knowledge, skills, pamphlets, courses, understanding and care. and we did in sorts and we also didn't. conversations are fragmented and we worry quietly. good therapy is inaccessible so medication will do. we are not frank and open about mental illness even though its screaming at us.
it. is. screaming. at. us.
it sits within and around my family, my tribe and we are unarmed, open and vulnerable.
i want a do over, i want rakhi to happen again, this time slower. i wish rakhi happened everyday. an everyday ritual where i tie love and protection to the men in my tribe.