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Slim Grim and Neglected: This Rakshabandhan, gift your sisters a break!

By Romita Roy

Dear brothers,

It’s that time of the year when you’re trying to dodge your sister’s Cartier bracelet expectations in exchange for a Rakhi. Although in 2020, she doesn’t require your protection in the literal sense (or does she), she sure could do with a little patriarchy-bashing help from your side. TV shows like Indian Matchmaking, though painfully cringeworthy (I tuned out at Miso Paneer), prove one thing. Patriarchy need not be loud and obnoxious, it might not impose one to be ‘slim trim and educated’, it can exist in the subtlest of ways and in the wealthiest of suburbs. And while one might not relate to such people in any imaginable universe (yes it’s a reality show, not a bad dream), to call them a part of our twisted society shifts the responsibility off our shoulders. Here are some gift ideas for your sister that aren’t jewellery.

Here are some gift ideas for your sister that aren’t jewellery.

  • Gift her a holiday: Remember when you went on a bike trip to Kasol after your engineering degree to soul-search? She’s probably been so caught up in the mad rush that the thought hasn’t crossed her mind. Just a no-agenda, no-holds-barred, no itinerary getaway. She decides whether she needs ‘ten days to relax’ or not.

  • Gift her an experience: No matter what stage of life she is in, talk to her about her passions, or her neglected hobbies. Don’t micro-manage it. It doesn’t need to turn into a side hustle, or be adventurous or ‘feminine’. Let her choose.

  • Gift her an education: Whether it’s about the Bolivian salt flats or how to make the best cocktail, there are enough short courses going around to pick from. Not necessarily something that looks good on her bio-data, but helps her realise that her worth is not defined by a partner or a scorning Aunty.

  • Gift her a time-warp: Now I know you can’t bring back lost time on those awkward dates. But you can let your sister know she isn’t running a race. There’s no ticking clock and no pressure to feel bad about those rejected rishtas. Or job interviews for that matter.

All references are from the first 1.5 episodes of the show since I just couldn’t go on watching. If the stars align, maybe I’ll muster up the courage to proceed. Until then… happy Rakshabandhan!



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