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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bangle Fascination

Lad Bazaar in Hyderabad, Vishwanath Gali in Banaras, Patna Market and scores of random exhibitions have one thing in common- I have freaked out on bangles in all these places, be it for myself or for others.
There is something about the khanak or clanking of bangles that make one feel feminine, sexy and demure at one go. For those who don't do bangles, there are bracelets.
The love for bangles began a little late in the day for me. Until then I used to find bangles a bother and also a trifle old fashioned, behanji types. My convent school mind set was deep rooted and until a little before my wedding I was never inclined to wear them.
But I do remember being amazed by the possibilities in colors and patterns in bangles way back when we used to collect broken bits of bangles for our kaleidoscope or for an indoor game. My friend's mom's people were bangle traders in Ferozabad and she used to contribute the maximum broken bits!
But now, be it gold, pearl, lac, glass, metal, plastic, rubber, wood...shining, colourful, patterned, plain, enamelled, I have done them all. I take time in matching them with my attire and working out a good combination depending upon the color of the sari and the border/ pallu. That is one of the part about dressing up that I look forward to.
My most cherished bangles are the lac bangles or Lahathi that I wore for my wedding and a month onwards from then. Bright, maroon/ red, patterned with tiny glass work & metal, delicate and brittle, the handle with care variety. A slight pressure will have them crumbling in your hands. The black, white and gold ones that I bought at Hyderabad later complete the collection. I wear the broad ones mostly as borders to the other bangles and love them for the ethnic looks, the weighty feel and the base terracota-ish sound when they strike against each other. You will find a good variety of them in Rajasthan section of exhibition apart from Hyderabad and Patna and they will cost upwards from Rs 40 a set depending upon the thickness and the work.

My most used bangles are the collection of glass bangles with mirror & crystal/ stone work on them. They come in sets of 12 + 4 thin and broad bangles and I have them in all colours- red, blues, maroon, green, black, white, pinks... You name the color and if they make it, I have it. I have made my mom comb the markets in Ranchi for them and at Rs 18-20 a set, they are a steal. They go well with chiffon/ georgette saris and suits since they are extremely bright and flashy. The best part is being able to combine colors to match the various shades of the dress. They look like a cross between glass & lac and clink like heavy glass bangles.

My latest in glass include a set of 2 thick rounded kadas in dual pastel shades. The play of light lends the duality in the color and they cost about Rs 20. I am flicking it from Mom who bought them at Patna.

I picked up a variety of metal bangles with diamond mirror patterns and another type with lac decoration on metal and tiny hangings. These were the most unique colours like pastel pink, light purple, sparkling grey etc. If one would pick up all the interpretations of say purple- mauve- violet etc, they could combine them to form a unique look.

I have the range of girlish flexible metal bangles in pastel shades, thin, delicate looking array in endless numbers. Not as sophisticated as the glass or lac ones but combine them with the metal ones to upgrade the look.

The wooden bangles with myriad hues from the AP stall of handicrafts fair at Rs 10 per piece had me going crazy. I have used it rampantly and now my kids play with them.

Not to forget the hyderabad pearls and 1g gold polish bangles with gold mimicing designs - green/ white zircons & a lovely antique piece. The best part is they look like the real thing, cost like the imitation but don't tarnish like the imitation work. Go well with traditional saris.

Well, the point of this post. I had cleaned up my cupboard and had spend a happy hour sorting them out into different boxes with remembered pleasure. How enthusiastically I had picked them up at various places. I had been particular about matching bangles everytime I wore a sari until I became pregnant and the hands got swollen.
I have recently discovered that 2 out of the 3 men in my life have been complimenting my mom on her bangles (the new glass ones mentioned a few paragraphs away) as nice bengals. It rekindled my own love for bangles and I took them out and wore them just a few days back when I got a chance to wear a sari.


Opal Scraps said...

i simply adoooore wearing bangles/. but its been an eternity since i wore even a kadaa. earlier i was scared hiba might feel uncomfy while in my hands. and now hiba wants to wear MY bangles whenever i try to wear. and recently there havent been any occasion either to wear it...

Timepass said...

What a lovely collection..just loved the bangles on the top left snap.

How do we know said...

wow! u remind me of my own love of bangles and payals. Only, i feel no desire to go back to them and feel feminine again. Another time, maybe.
Good to read this post!

Aryan-Arjun said...

Wow..I was about to post pictures about the bangles that I got from HYderabad chudi market..I love have a great collection.
Aryan's mom

Anonymous said...

your love for bangles reminds me somewhat of my reluctantly developed fascination for them. At my seemantham , I was aghast when they said I have to put 24 bangles in the 6th month of pregnancy and keep it on till I delivered. And I hadn't even told anyone in office the news yet ( yeah , it helps when you look perpetually pregnant ). Anyway , I moaned and compromised for 12 and loved them - all glass colored bangles !!

I take it Ojas and Tejas love them and hubby doesn't care ?!