Bangles and a widow

I thought about the bangles and kajal. I always wanted glass bangles. Amma would never buy them telling me, they all break and it is a waste of money.
“I thought about the nadodi who doesn’t come to our house. Then I understood why.
I marched to where Ammachi was standing. She was talking to the workers.
I asked her
“Why can’t you wear glass bangles and kajal?”
“huh?” She looked at me surprised.
“Why are you not wearing bangles?. Why are you not wearing a saree and bangles?”
“Because I can’t Nina”
“Why can’t you?”
“Because I am a widow.”
“why shouldn’t you wear bangles, because you are a widow?”
“Nina, the society expects me to dress like this. White chatta and mundu and no glass bangles and kajal”
“Who is the society Ammachi?”
“Why are you asking me about bangles Nina?” She asked me
“because you don’t wear bangles, nadodi seller won’t come to our house and now you see, I won’t be able buy any bangles.”
“ want bangles!”
“Yes, Ammachi, like the ones Ammalu is going to buy. I want lots of glass bangles, that will make noise every time I move my hand”
“Do you have money to buy the bangles”
I shook my head
“Will you buy me bangles?” I asked her
“What about you, will you buy bangles for you too?” I asked her.
“Then we can both wear matching bangles”. I told her.
Workers were listening to our conversation all these while. They looked at me and then to Ammachi. I could see their facial expressions changing from normal to disgust, they were not happy to even think about my widowed grandmother wearing bangles.
“Nina, we will talk about it later, Go and see if Chakki made coffee” Ammachi shooed me away.

I walked back to the kitchen. I was angry with the society for not allowing my grandmother to wear glass bangles. I wasn’t sure who the society was,but I knew one day I will find them and ask them.

17 thoughts on “Bangles and a widow

  1. M.reza thank you for visiting my blog..glad you enjoyed it.
    Thanu:I too need the answer
    Arjun:they still do
    Pophabi:Thank you for visitng my blog
    Jac:I my blog.. time for the society to answer.

  2. Hi….It’s really strange…Some people are forced within a few hours of a demise to go bangleless and wear white color sarees. If they dont comply, the other ladies in the society snub them..So weird…Other women snub women..Have seen this in Kerala…I have also seen grandmothers in TamilNadu wearing bright color sarees….Nice post…Glad to be a mal, could understand all the mal words you used…:)

  3. I think the “idea” was to make the woman not attractive to any males anymore after her husband died. When she is married,she is
    ‘supposed’ to be attractive ONLY to her husband. Someone else also can get attracted to her,but the sindoor on her forehead is supposed to remind the strangers that you might get a good beating if you get attracted.
    I think in a ‘positive attittude’ that the tradition of white saree no makeup was started to protect the women itself. I hope it was like that. But you know in a world of predators,it just has to be female in any forms,this is not even in India,everywhere in the World, from children to old women.

  4. Liza is an exception right i am sure she will heal soon with under your loving care,think ammachi needs care also verde dont talk too much about sensitive issues 🙂 more than the society,i think she respects the mourning!

  5. Though a lot of water has flown out through the streams, I see your inner quest, the finer tunes of a real ‘kochu maharani’ and of course the burning looks of a child at the impeding forces.

    The out look has changed now, Sarah, but we will have a hard time to make it acceptable to ‘ammachys’.

    • Unfortunately it hasn’t till today. Pls visit vrindavan to hear stories directly from the widows and some women in the villages n shockingly in urban orthodox homes for that matter. Widows are to step back after their husbands die n behave in certain manner ! Sad !

  6. Scibblez:Thank you for visiting my blog. My cousin who married a telugu guy was so traumatised on the day of her husband’s funeral. After the funeral, all the ladies held her hand and thrashed her hand on to the wall to break the bangles.
    lg:the idea was noble, to protect the widow..but it was the society tht needed to be protected..
    Starry nights:I know how hard it was for my grandmother to live alone..
    Raj:I don’t mourn her death. I cherish her life.
    Jac:Ammachy’s just wanted to live..but the society then and now won’t let them do tht.

  7. yeah I know!I totally disagree with people who cast a widow as a widow and does not give her the rights like a normal human being…it’s so irritating!but nobody ever listens!

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