Bhai Dooj in Covid-19 times: Actors talk about rejoicing the siblings bond and their plans for an e-celebration this year
After Diwali, the celebration that many look forward to is Bhai Dooj. However, this year, owing to the pandemic and subsequent restrictions, many might not be able to be with their families to celebrate the festival. We talk to actors who would be home to celebrate bhai dooj and those who would be away and have a virtual celebration. They share memories, celebration plans and the significance of the unbreakable sibling bond.
Deepika Singh Goyal
My younger brother Manish and I, are both friends, and also strict with each other. We both are quite protective about each other but never show it off. It only comes out when one of us is in trouble. We’ve both been mischievous as kids, and would do things like a team. We’re three sisters and one brother. I remember when I was 12, and we sisters were talking about, ‘Kab Manish bada hoga aur hume achha gift dega’ (laughs). And that year Manish actually saved his pocket money and got all of us earrings and chocolates. We got emotional thinking how much he thought about us. That gift was really special. Sadly, this time I’ll not be able to go to Delhi, so we’ll be doing a virtual Bhai Dooj. For those like me who’re away from their brothers on this special, don’t lose heart. Whether together or apart, nothing can dampen our spirit. Let’s share gifts and do e-celebration to make the most of Bhai Dooj this year.
My elder sister Shrashti Joshi stays in Jodhpur. Before she got married, I have wonderful memories of celebrating Diwali and Bhai Dooj in Ujjain. I’d end up giving her all the money to my sister that would get from elders during the festival and would tease her that she’s getting all the money for just putting a teeka on my forehead. I used to tell her jokingly that brothers also have such days. I miss those days. Now we don’t get to meet each other often given that we’re in different cities and like everyone else, we’re occupied with our lives and end up talking over the phone for hours. This time we won’t be together during Bhai Dooj, so we’d use technology. Bonds are stronger than everything and distance or even a pandemic are nothing in front of it. So stay safe, positive and spread happiness.
My brother Somrik — who we lovingly call Som — is seven years younger to me. So I’ve literally seen him grow up in front of my eyes and I’m like his third parent. Since he also works in Mumbai, we stay together. This time luckily we both could make it to Kolkata so the Bhai Dooj celebrations are going to be like earlier times. Such festivals are like family get together, all cousin brothers and sisters at one place doing the rituals along with all the elders around us. I still remember growing up how much fun we had with so many people under one roof. My brother keeps me gifting something or other, so let’s see what he has for me this time. I think this year has taught us the importance of gratitude, to take care of our loved ones, be nice to other and also to be compassionate. I think those of us who are able to celebrate this festival with our families should be grateful that we can because there are many siblings who won’t be able to given the pandemic.
While my sister and entire family live in Delhi, I am mostly in Mumbai because of my work and end up missing out on all the festivals. In fact for almost a decade I have not been home for Bhai Dooj. I remember after I came to Mumbai in 2007, my sister travelled all the way from Delhi to Mumbai to be with me during Bhai Dooj. I think more than gifts these are the things that I cherish. This time I am going to surprise her and my family. My sister Kanika Joura Verma is two years younger to me but she behaves like my mother. She is very protective, loving and a complete super woman, who is extremely talented. There are things that I can’t talk to my parents and friends about but I can tell her, she understands me like no one else. I am going to gift her an apple watch this time. Celebrations this year are going to be special because I am going home. I feel grateful to be able to be with my loved ones. This year has been quite difficult for all of us, but we all are trying hard to cope up. Whether we are together or apart, we must be there for each other.
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ
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