Saturday, 25 August 2018 | PNS | Haridwar — With Rakhi Purnima round the corner, the markets are now flooded with colourful, creative rakhis of all shapes and sizes. Silver rakhi with religious symbols is the latest craze among the middle-aged women while the young ones are shopping on cartoon and soft teddy rakhis. To mark the bond of love between siblings, the girls and the women have been thronging the markets and the shops which sell rakhis for the past few days. However, there are differences in their taste in the selection of the threads of the sibling love. While the youngsters are stuck over cartoon rakhis which they would tie around the wrists of their brothers the middle-aged women are hunting for the same fitted with the images of Ganesha, Om and the like.  “The holy city has a touch of ‘religion’ in all its festivities and Rakhi festival is no exception,” said a woman found buying such rakhis for her two brothers. Balaji rakhi, Ganesha rakhi, Krishna rakhi–there is a variety to choose from.  Studded with shining stones, these embellished rakhis remain tied on the wrists of the people days after the festival is over. Those who sell rakhis say that the religiously themed rakhis are a new addition this year. Many of them have procured such rakhis from places like Mumbai and Kolkata. Amit Jain, manager of a gifts shop in Jwalapur,  said that the shop has a  wide range of rakhis on display, ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 5000. “Generally, the south Indian customers opt for Balaji and Ganesha rakhis while the north Indians have their minds fixed on Om and Swastik-  imaged rakhis,” he said. Rakhis made of Rudrakhsa beads are also being seen in abundance in the markets. Rudraksha being the favourite of Lord Shiva, it fascinates the devotees living in the holy city. Rajasthani rakhis have peculiar ‘bandhej’ style cloth base while some of them are studded with shiny crystals. “I always shop for Bruce Lee rakhis since my brother is a fan of cartoon characters. I have also purchased a Hanumanji rakhi for him because Hanumanji is a symbol of strength,” said little Punya while shopping for her brother. “I wish I have more Shiva rakhis as the demand for them is high this year,” says a shop owner from Jwalapur. The cartoon characters Doraemon, Pokemon, Chhota Bheem, Motu and Patlu are favourite among the teenage boys who are shopping at Vishal Mega Mart along with their sisters. “I have come along my sister to select the rakhi of my choice. Chotta Bheem rakhi reminds me of the character from Ramayana who kills every one with his weapon,” said a shopper at the Vishal Mega Mart.

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