Raksha Bandhan has always been an extremely special occasion for us. My elder brother, Porus Irani, has been living in London for the last ten years, hence we usually miss celebrating the festival with him. It’s only Bakhtiyaar Irani (younger brother and actor) and I, as we both are in Mumbai. This year, the celebration will be over dinner. We will be video calling Porus and I will tie two rakhis to Bakhtiyaar. My brothers are my pillars of strength; I trust them completely. They are always there for me, and are extremely protective of me.
Memories of the festival are of getting together with cousins and gorging on delicacies, which also included chocolates and mithais. This year, because of my work commitments, I won’t be able to travel to Kolkata for the festival. Instead, I will be celebrating it virtually with my sister, Reema Pawa. The pandemic has changed the way we look at life and even festivals. But, we should not let the virus bog us down and keep our spirits high.
The fondest childhood memory is from school when girls wanted to tie rakhis to me. I was shy and used to put a bandage on my hand and pretend to be hurt. For the last few years, Rashami Desai (actor) has been tying rakhi to me; she’s my rakhi sister. She is an extremely caring sister. Like every year it’ll be a small, private but fun affair.
My sister, Reena Pareek, is extremely possessive about me. My fondest memory would be from 20 years back when I told her I wanted a music rakhi after seeing a friend wear one. She broke her piggy bank and bought that rakhi for me. I have still kept it. Every year, she sends my rakhi to Mumbai. She is older to me, but calls me bhaiya, which is an incredible feeling.
I always wanted a sister and told my parents to give me one. And, when I saw my sister for the first time, I was over the moon. My sister Riya Bajaj is like my baby. I’m super protective about her. She is a fashion photographer, and I always call and check if she has eaten, rested and when she is coming home. Our love and bond is beyond words. Every shoot we do, every vlog we make together is special. I will cook some nice dishes for her today and I have also bought a gift for her.
I have one sister, Palak. We are like Tom and Jerry — we annoy each other, but also look out for each other. She got married earlier this year and moved to Surat. We already celebrated the festival when we were travelling to Kerala a few days back, since I am flying out of the country for work and won’t be able to visit her. When I was a kid, I used to love getting cartoon rakhis tied on my hand, and was super proud to flaunt to 18 rakhis as I had that many cousins.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)