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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The "forgotten accessory" of modern woman

This forehead decoration called bindi, from the Sanskrit word, Bindu, a dot or a small particle , a typically Indian religious or fashion statement has regressed over the years. It alters the look of any female's face instantly and has always fascinated me . Over the years, this has reduced itself to a small dot, applied insignificantly or imperceptibly, thus reducing its importance.I read that this dot enhances the brain power as one site of a kundli. To me, it symbolizes femininity at its best. in the earlier days, One can only think of this as a round coin-sized red mark on the foreheads, dead centre , of actresses of yore like V-Mala, Meena Kumari, Rekha and Mumtaz, Mala Sinha , with an instant announcement of a married and happy housewife. It lent that extra grace and charm to their visages. It is very difficult to say at what stage it started descending towards the nose from its central forehead, to in between the eyebrows and nowadays even in the bridge of the nose. It may soon descend to the tip of the nose, I'm afraid ! 

A bindi evokes a symbol of prosperity . It is a warning sign to men to keep off married women or invitation by maidens on the wings to be married. This dot has degraded itself into a comma, semi-colon and colon exclamation marks. It has now taken all shapes and sizes and forms, like glittery snakes and stars, and as ornamental adjuncts, fully colour co-ordinated. Imagine having to look at an image of Brinda Karat or Sushma Swaraj or or the inimitable glitter-bling pop queen Usha Uthup, without their ubiquitous sovereign sized bindis. One wouldn't be able to recognize them.

When the bindi made its entry into the US three decades ago, it became a sine qua non amongst the comely jeans- T-shirt clad maidens, so much so the so-called dot-buster gangs set upon them. It became popular in South Asia amongst the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and Nepalis, Sri Lankans etc.

Today, the bindi has almost disappeared from the faces of dot-com teenagers and, middle aged matrons , who prefer the bare-foreheaded looks. They don't know how much of glamour they can add to their faces by merely placing a simple dot, of any colour of their choice , right in the center of the forehead.One can only see the bindi amongst the over forty housewives who proudly continue to sport it, as a mark of their tradition.It lends to their faces an aura of divinity, as it was originally intended.The blazing bindi on the forehead of Goddess Durga spits fire and brimstone.

Lyricists have gone dotty coining phrases like their bindiya re, and bindiya chamkegi etc, binding one to permanent imageries of Mumtaz and Jaya Bhadhuri.

Fashionistas are well-advised to revive the bindi as an Indian symbol of tradition and an essential addition to good looks of Indian models at Beauty pageants.


Nice article on BINDI. Makes an interesting read. Wish some of our lady bloggers/viewers too would have read it.

I personally like Bindi the forehead decoration and Bindi the vegetable too !!


Apropos your post on BINDI yesterday. You have refered to it as an instant announcement of a married and happy housewife. Probably there is some confusion between bindi and sindoor (usually worn by married women along the parting of their hair or the ""maang").

Remember Deepika Padukone's famous dialogue from Om Shanti Om:
Ek chutki sindoor ki keemat tum kya jaano, Ramesh Babu?
Ishwar ka ashirwaad hota hai - ek chutki sindoor
Suhaagan ke sar ka taj hota hai - ek chutki sindoor
Har aurat ka khwaab hota hai - ek chutki sindoor
I will try to translate. Please correct if need be.

Ramesh Babu, You wouldn't know the value of this blob of sindoor.
God's blessings go with it.
It is the crown on the head of the married woman.
To possess it is the dream of every woman
**Very often the reason (or is it excuse?) given is that netthipottu doesn't go well with the dress they wear and therefore they would rather give up the pottu  than the modern dress. What a logic!! Even married women are preapred to forgo "God's Blessings that go with it" just to wear the "dress" they adore.I too feel disturbed and rather appalled at the sight of blank foreheads of females.  In the yester years one used to easily identify the married from the 'unmarried' with the marks on the forehead and in the parting in the head.  It is unfortunate that the current crop of youngsters are giving up on this small little bindi which adds to the beauty of a female irrespective of the caste, creed religion etc.  Perhaps they do not want to be identified as unmarried??

Even in offices, females who have it on normal days give it a 'go' when they are  clad in jeans or any western attire.  I wonder why a female cannot carry off western outfit with a small bindi which is part of our culture...

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