“Wake up you sleepyhead! I’m not going to wait for eternity, you know.”

“But why? Let me sleep a little bit more.”

“WHY? YOU NINCOMPOOP! It’s rakshabandhan today and I won’t be allowed to eat until I tie the rakhi on your hands. And for how long do you intend to sleep, you sloth? It’s already past the 8 hrs of your beauty sleep. Now wake up or it’ll be your visarjan today.” blasted Akanksha.

“OK! OK! Don’t get mad so early in the morning . Give me half an hour and I would be at your command, big sis”, Rahul tried to placate his enraged sister.
“30 minutes and no more. The moment the clock strikes 31st minute, you would be a goner and I’m not going to tie rakhi, do you understand?”
“Sure.”, Rahul conceded .

“Hey mom! Look he’s not sitting still. How am I supposed to apply tilak on his forehead?” Akanksha applied to the highest appellate court.

“Oh really! Don’t consider me so naive that I don’t know you sister. If left to you, you’d surely make a dacoit out of me. Why are you obsessed with covering the entire forehead with tilak anyway?” Rahul quipped.

“MOM! Tell me again why do I have to tie rakhi to this guy. I am fed up of him.”
“Coz you need kurkure today, knucklehead.”

“ Knock it off, you two. If you don’t stop squibbling now, then you won’t be having fast food for the next 3 months.”

“Holy crap! Seems mother hasn’t drunk tea yet. Let’s stop her before Maa turns into Kali Maa.” Rahul reasoned.

“Oh mother dear, do not fear. It’s not the great ninja war that we were fighting. We were just having some fun. Sister tie the rakhi, I’ ll be stock-still now.”

“Stop the Naruto analogy right now or else I’m banning that. Why can’t you two have truce even for one day? I think the Nobel prize should be conferred to me just for being the peacekeeper in this family.” the mother lamented. Deciding that the rising blood pressure would be injurious to their well being too, tying of rakhi was completed without any further tantrums.

After completing all the household chores, mother summoned the siblings. “I’m going to tell you a story and both of you are going to listen in rapt attention. Do you concur?”

“Yes milady. Your wish is our command.”, the duo cried in unison.

“ Stop your satire right now. Rahul, you are 11 and Akanksha you too aren’t a child anymore at 9. You  still don’t understand the worth of having a sibling. Ask the importance of a brother or sister from those who are unable to celebrate this auspicious festival of love. Let me tell you a story. I sincerely hope that all my prayers reach the almighty and some knowledge seeps into that brain of yours. The story is about 2 siblings, let’s call them X & Y.”

“Oh no! Not THEM. Why can’t we leave algebra behind and call them anything else.”, unable to stop her irritation at mathematics Akanksha spoke.
“Fine. Let’s call them Priya and Adarsh. Not a word is to escape your mouth until I’m done with the narration.” the mother threatened and not wanting to face her wrath, the children zipped their mouth shut.

“Now Priya and Adarsh weren’t related by blood but by bonds of love. They knew each other since their elementary school. Adarsh’s parents died in a car accident and he was orphaned. Rakshabandhan was the one festival they both despised, for both couldn’t celebrate it due to lack of one to call sibling. It was one Rakshabandhan when Priya decided to take matters into her hand; her best friend became her brother and the family took Adarsh under their wings. Unlike you two here, they lived in harmony. It’s not that they didn’t have quarrels. I’d be lying if I said that, it’s kind of a norm for siblings. But they didn’t fight for petty things and certainly not on the scale you two fight. Your every argument turns into a no holds barred battle. All was going well. However, life is not all that rosy , you know. There came a time when the bonds severed. There were serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993 and one of them got critically injured, shards of the bomb puncturing the atrium . Heart of the other sibling was found totally compatible. So due to the faith and deep love of the other sibling the heart transplant was successful. It was their mutual love and affection that gave life to one on the brink of death. The threads of rakhi aren’t merely threads but chains of love that bound Yamraj and warded off death.”, teary-eyed mother couldn’t go any further.

“So the person who gave his life was our uncle right? You know mum, we aren’t kids anymore.” Rahul said after the shock of revelation blew away.

“No. It was your father’s sister. Your aunt.”

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