Today is Rakshabandan. I message my brother. I get a smiley in return.

” What is unconditional amma?” asks my little girl.

I had adopted the technique Roald Dahl suggested, in his poem about television. That had made her addicted to books, to my great delight. I thank Dahl and stop myself from asking, if she was reading about love.

There is no other explanation. Only love is unconditional. Hatred, comes with twists and turns of malice. Indifference,  is a cool blue steel. Mockery is all yellow laughter. Envy, I think is not green. It is one flash of shark teeth-all red and bloody.

” Unconditional love, ma. What does it mean?”

I have on my lap, ArogyaNiketanam-Tara Shankar Bandopadhyay’s  Bengali Classic. A very dear lady has gifted it to me, and it is a translation in my mother tongue.

For a moment, I ruminate on what Jeevan Mashai, aka Mahashay, great soul and healer would have explained:

“Death is unconditional.”

It is too deep for an answer.

” Like my love for you both,” I say, ” like the love of most mothers and fathers for their children.”

” Huh?”

” Hmm… Like your love for Chechy,” I grin.


” Regardless of anything, you love her, right?”

” Mommmmmm, ” I hear a groan from the other room, ” do not give her ideas!”

” Huh?”

” Ok, it is like this- if this person needs , hmmm an eye- you offer both of yours. There is no separation. You are, because he is.Or she is.”

” Huh?”

” You know your uncle? ”

” Yeah”

” Let us say that amma has unconditional love for him. What do you understand?”

” If he needs an eye, you will offer both. But you will turn blind.”

” Exactly-it is not important whether one turns blind or not”

“Mommmmm…that is soooooo melodramatic… She cannot get metaphors…hmmm,” says the voice from the room.

” Unconditional means…ok, but then how will you give him an eye?”

” I am sending him a Rakshabandan message instead,” I smile, ” it means the same”.

” Weird,” comments the voice.

” Ok- so Harry Potter’s mother would give her two eyes for Harry. She had unconditional love for her child,” concludes the little one.

” Now you got it right. ”


I mail my brother, a picture of his nieces.

May they learn to be there for each other, as you have been there for me- through life’s most treacherous paths, offering a steady hand. Unconditionally.

With love, this Rakshabandan.

I am the blessed one.


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