This was the day they had been waiting for with much anticipation. Many even passed sleepless nights. So when the moment finally arrived, the children of Hindu Mission Orphanage were ready much ahead of time.
"Aaj hamaniyon ke rakhi bandhwawe ke ba, ehi khatir jaldi se taiyar ho tani (Today, we will get rakhis tied on our wrists, so we have got ready so early)," said Baban Singh (16), a Bhojpuri-speaking inmate of the orphanage located at Hirapur in Dhanbad, too eager to celebrate Raksha Bandhan.
Baban, Gagan (17), Krishna (14), Suman (13), Vikash (15), Ashok (13), Vipin (14) and even eight-year-old Rahul, who woke up as early as 6am, competed with each other to bathe and get dressed in their new clothes, all the while curious about who would come to tie rakhis on them.
Four students of South Point Convent ' Puja and Priyanka of Class VIII and Kajal and Simran of Class VI ' finally arrived, along with their teacher Vijay Kumar Tiwari, around 11am. All arrangements were made within 15 minutes and the action shifted to the ground floor of the two-storey building where Puja and Priyanka first approached Rahul with a rakhi thali.
"We chose Rahul as he is the youngest among all," said Puja. Then came the turn of seven others, who patiently waited in a queue.
The celebrations wound up after an hour during which Gagan crooned famous Bollywood numbers dedicated to brother-sister ties like Behna ne bhai ki kalai pe pyar bandha hai and Bhaiya mere rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana.
Arvindar Kaur, principal of South Point Convent, located about 2km away, said they started the practice of sending their students to the orphanage on rakhi five years ago. "Nothing can be more satisfying than providing some joy to these kids, who are deprived of the love and care of their families," Kaur added.