My aunt was one of the pioneer women from my ancestral town who had a nose piercing. In those days there was a clear cultural line that separated adherents of various religious practices. Christians didn’t wear pottu and certainly didn’t wear nose piercing. I was so fascinated to see my aunt breaking cultural ties. And I too wanted a mukkuthi.
After relentless nagging/begging/pleading my mother finally relented. I had just completed MBBS and I wanted something to mark the occasion. We went to Josco jewellers and I picked a tiny diamond mukkuthi. And then my mother had second thoughts. She said ” you know, you are now of a marriageable age and will soon get married, What if the boy doesn’t like you wear a mukkuthi? So, I think it is better to wait until you get married and get your husband’s permission”
It was my nose and I was not married at that time and why I asked my mother for her permission is still something I never understood. Somehow you are supposed to listen to your elders and follow their advice even if you know it was flawed and baseless.
Few years ago, when Yaya and I went to India, she got her nose pierced. I had thought of getting one done, but it was Yaya’s big day and I felt, it should be just hers and not something she should be sharing with her mom.
Plus there was an age concern, although I am a firm believer of ‘you are not old and it is not too late’ dogma, I was still a bit concerned. Especially when I am working for International Organizations.
This time I went to India and had that phone conversation with my sister younger to me, it actually reinforced why I walked away from my crazy family. Since my sister told me that I should consider my mother is no more, I felt I needed something to remind me not to ever have anything to do with my mother or sisters.
So I got my nose pierced. I also bought a emerald nose ring, which matches the earrings my youngest gave me as a gift.
My best friend is convinced that the next in line is a tattoo and I have learned to Never say Never.