Delhi markets have flooded with traditional designs of rakhis including some of them featuring British empress Queen Victoria to fictional character ‘Chhota Bheem’ and other famous characters of TV serials.
A market in South Delhi is selling unconventional rakhis which are catching the eye of buyers ahead of Raksha Bandhan festival.
According to a shopkeeper in Lajpat Nagar’s Central Market, rakhis featuring Queen Victoria are in high demand. “One ‘Queen Victoria’ rakhi costs Rs 50 and people are liking the design of it. One lot is already sold and even those browsing through rakhis pause and enquire about it. It is quiet a hit,” he said.
Each ‘Queen Victoria’ rakhi has an embellished round dial like the face of an old British-era coin with the relief image of the legendary empress wearing a crown embossed on both sides and a red-and-saffron thread holding it.
Asked what other designs are in good demand, he pointed out to a bunch of threads with ‘Chhota Bheem’ dangling in the middle, “These ones are doing well too.”
The market is flooded with traditional designs with conventional rakhis, but the ones with unconventional look are urging people to “try something new” this festive season. “I had no idea that a rakhi featuring ‘Queen Victoria’ was selling here. I have an interest in history and I want to surprise my brothers.
So bought a couple of them,” said Priyanka Sethi, who works in the private sector.”I am unconventional by nature and this just fits my bill. In fact, I am buying one just as a keepsake as well,” she said. This year, Raksha Bandhan festival falls on August 15, coinciding with the 73rd Independence Day.
Ironical as it may sound, the image of Queen Victoria has often been used to portray the idea of colonialism but the former British empress’ image is also one of the most enduring ones world over.
Many institutions, parks and streets named after her still exist, most of them being renamed after the Independence. However, some of those have retained the old names like the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata.
Victorian-era coins, postage stamps and photographs are collectible items and many in India hold special collections.