Pretty Bangles in All Hues

I never liked wearing bangles. They were noisy, they were heavy and they got in the way when I tried to do anything. There would be times when, in a misguided attempt at ‘fitting in’, I would pick up a couple. But they wouldn’t last long on my wrist, and I’d gift them to the first person who complimented me on them.

First my relatives gave up commenting on my bare wrists, then my in-laws did. For the times when I just couldn’t get away without wearing bangles, I had that slim gold bracelet that my mother had encouraged me to buy with my first salary.

Why the hell can’t you wear bangles, people would ask. They are too heavy, I would reply, knowing fully well they weighed less than the heavy earrings I was so fond of wearing. They get in the way when I am writing, I would mutter, but that couldn’t explain why I took it off even while making presentations or talking.

And then I met Durga. She of the perfectly colour coordinated clothes. She who never stepped out of home without matching earrings, necklace and bangles. Those bangles which picked out every shade of her attire.

“Come with me to Lal Bazaar once”, she challenged. “I will make you fall in love with bangles.”

Glass bangles are forever

I scoffed, and made excuses. But one day, got corned into going with her. The lanes leading off Charminar resembled rabbit warrens. Stepping gingerly over the puddles and dodging wooden carts, I wondered what I had let myself into. And then suddenly, we were in Wonderland.
There were bangles everywhere. Who knew there could be so many types of bangles- glass, lacquer, wood, metal, cloth. Bangles with mirrors and beads. Bangles with wires twirled around them, and bangles with enamel work. Painted bangles, and bangles covered with embroidered cloth. Bangles in every shade imaginable and a few beyond imagination too.

While I was mesmerized by the place, Durga got to work. She directed the shop assistant to get down every kind of bangle she decided I needed. There were glass bangles in shades of blue, glass bangles in green and red. Glass bangles painted in pearly shades. The metal bangles with shiny red, gold and black stones embedded on them. The bangles with silver and gold glass laid out in neat rows. She taught me how I was supposed to mix and match the bangles to reflect the patterns on my saree.

I was sure I could never get her lessons clear, but in a week, I found I had become quite a pro.

And she was right. I am now a convert.

There are still days when I slip the bangles off as soon as I reach the desk, but rare is the day when I step out in a saree without at least half a dozen bangles jangling on my wrist.

Viva la Laad Bazar. I miss thee.




Mother | Education | Youth empowerment | Gender rights | Book slut | Adopt don't buy | At home everywhere | Dances in the rain | Do it anyway | Surprised by Joy

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Natasha Ramarathnam

Natasha Ramarathnam

Mother | Education | Youth empowerment | Gender rights | Book slut | Adopt don't buy | At home everywhere | Dances in the rain | Do it anyway | Surprised by Joy

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