ABU DHABI // Kamlesh Bhatia drove from the capital to Dubai yesterday to commemorate Raksha Bandhan and celebrate the spiritual bond between brothers and sisters. The festival, popular in Northern India among Hindus and Sikhs, was celebrated in the homes of Indian expatriates. Sisters tie a piece of thread, or rakhi, around a brother's wrist, symbolising solidarity and kinship. In turn, he vows to protect and look after her and bestows her with gifts.
Mr Bhatia, who has a cement business, is the youngest brother to eight sisters, one of whom, Harsha, he visited yesterday. The rest, back in India, sent their threads by post. He now has eight rakhis around his wrist. "This is to not forget you have a sister," he said. "People are busy these days and it is a special occasion to remember my sisters." His gifts included saris and cash. Harsha, who runs a nursery, had sent rakhis to her other two younger brothers in India. "I post it every year," she said.
During her trips to India, her sisters-in-law ensure there is a gift for her. Two years ago, when she was in India for Raksha Bandhan, she received a crockery set, dress materials and cash. "There are no expectations from brothers," she said. "But they always give me something." @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org