The origin of Rakhi or Rakshabandhan has many different versions.
Some attribute this beautiful festival to the story of Lord Indra and the first Rakhi his wife Indrani tied on his wrist for his protection. While some versions are about the brother defending the sister, for the sake of the holy bond.
I like to believe that in today's world when all genders are equal we can take the essence of the festival of tying a Rakhi as symbolizing a promise to love, protect and cherish each other and the bond that exists between the tier of the Rakhi and the recipient. I have always tied it to all the important men in my life - My Father and my brother.
I started it after my dad got cancer by telling my dad that I want to protect you as well.
When I got married I told my husband that I wanted to tie a Rakhi to him.
He was happy when I explained. Our relatives and friends were bemused. But he and I always carve our own traditions and so we started this annual ritual as well. Also, since my husband's pet, who now we call our son, Leo the extraordinary dog came into our lives full time. He has been part of every celebration and every failure since then and just understands what we feel and reacts accordingly.
This Rakhi I thought that the unconditional love he symbolizes deserves this sacred thread as well. So to the list of people who I want to love and protect to the best of my ability, I added this adorable creature.
Most people assume that Rakhi is for the protection of the female. My dad, husband, brother and pet are very protective but they have never tried to clip my wings. And they deserve my protection as well. So I tie a Rakhi to all of them and as my husband jokes, it is actually he who feels protected because a fierce, independent woman is promising to protect him and not the other way around.
We make our own traditions and they can be as progressive and beautiful as we make them.