Saris and Hair dyes —–01/10/2013

Recently when I met some American students at a get together, what  impressed me most was the way the women students dressed, looking every bit a South Indian. They were  donned in beautiful  georgette saris,  matching designer blouses, a nose clip, hair done up and most important of all, a red bindi prominently displayed in an appropriate place. This appeared  a contrast  to women  of our region who seem to dress with a ‘mixed identity’ which is neither fully South Indian or wholly North Indian. We find middle aged and even elderly  women wearing  salwar-kamiz, sporting diamond ear studs, a nose stud  to match   and  the tiniest bindi which is usually not visible to the ‘naked’ eye! The sight of them reminds  me of a ‘mixed metaphor!

I was also reminded of an incident  that took place when I met a distant relative at a meeting some days ago. He  said he was able to  recognize me  from my ‘techni coloured hair’and I corrected him saying my hair was only of one colour which was brown. His  next comment was that only north Indians used mehendi to colour their hair  and I had to educate him the second time  explaining   mehendi is  a cooling agent and more important it is used  for colouring hair  because  no  chemicals were added unlike in hair dyes which had their own after effects!.


n.meera raghavendra rao


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