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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Rakhi goes hi-tech

Megha Roy, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, August 21, 2013
First Published: 12:26 IST(21/8/2013) | Last Updated: 12:30 IST(21/8/2013)

Who says long distance relationships are only for lovebirds?

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On every rakhi, Gargi Das misses her brother who stays abroad.

Welcome to the techno-savvy world, where tradition has found an answer in techology.

Though she is 2,000 miles away from him, she can celebrate Rakshabandhan with him, though online.

Now, with families becoming nuclear and siblings staying far away from each other, rakhi e-cards are gaining more popularity.

Some of them include musical rakhis, floral rakhis, golden-bordered rakhis and cartoon character rakhis.

“To make the festival more accessible to people, we have come up with more than 1,500 rakhis and assortments. Price of rakhis range from Rs. 101 to Rs. 1,500 depending on assortments ordered. Also, rakhi tikka, chawal and soft toys are also available,” says Amit Maheshwari, vice-president (fashion merchandising), Snapdeal.com.

City-based Sayantani Dey, a working professional, says, “Rakhi has changed in its true sense. When I was a kid, I remember making rakhis using colourful roll of strings and a variety of artworks. A chocolate was enough as a gift. But now, not only rakhi e-cards but also rakhi e-gifts seem to have gone viral.”

Interestingly, a personalised rakhi e-card can be sent in less time than it takes to unwrap a gift.

A host of online portals are coming up with e-rakhis.

PC Sharma, CEO of TCI XPS, a division of Transport Corporation of India Limited, says, “Online availability of rakhis has made things much easier.”

Transport Corporation of India offers Anmol Rakhi, an online service of rakhis, which can be accessible across the globe.

There is also customised rakhi service where a handcrafted wooden box containing rakhi and the other essentials are delivered to the brother’s doorsteps.

“Lately, we have been delivering rakhis across the globe like US, UK and Australia. Also, women from overseas are sending rakhis to their brothers in India,” adds Sharma.

“My brother is settled in Canada for four years. As it’s not possible for us to celebrate rakhi together, we prefer celebrating it on Skype. Having a videoconference makes it possible for me to enact the entire ritual of tying rakhi on my brother’s wrist.

My mother makes the traditional thaali with sweets and diyas and we enact the process followed through a live chat,” says Riya Banerjee, a working professional in Salt Lake.


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