Teri bindiya re

Bindiya, bindi, tip, the usually round dot that  adorns women’s forehead was once an integral part of solah shringar. No matter how embellished a woman was her look was considered incomplete without a bindi or tip as we call it in Bangla . Poems have written on bindi, melodies have inspired by bindiya on a woman’s forehead.

Though the origin of bindi is believed to be associated with Hinduism, signifying marital status of women, the enigmatic dot soon surpassed any such binding and became a fashion accessory for women. Bindi became much more than vermilion or kumkum, rendered herself in different colours and shapes, even decked with crystal or moti. Women would match the bindi with the colour of their attire. Fancy crystal or moti bindis were worn on special occasion.

I was always fascinated by bindi. I would watch spellbound as my mother would put a bindi on her forehead, usually red or maroon Shipla bindi. ‘Shilpa char chand lagaye’ was a popular jingle then that we would often hum. It was the nineties and women, dressed usually in saris, would wear a bindi and maybe a little bit lipstick while stepping out. Bright and beautiful red or maroon bindis, some a little bigger than the others.

As a girl I would sometimes surreptitiously try my mother’s bindis, the used ones that she would usually stick to the mirror of the dressing table. I also had Kumkum  that came in small bottles in different colours. Whenever I got the chance to wear a sari, I would put a small bindi or Kumkum on my forehead.  As I grew up and started wearing saris and other Indian outfits more often, I would always team up my attire with a bindi.

But then, bindis started fading away. Of course women started wearing western attire more often and bindis don’t gel with that look. But even when they wear saris or traditional clothes and jewelry, they give bindi a miss. I don’t know if the Hindi soaps with female protagonists wearing oversized bindis have something to do with that. Bindi became old fashioned, associated with aunties or behenjis.

Somehow, I never gave up on bindis. I have a collection of bindis, in different colours and sizes. I sometimes wear fancy embellished bindis on weddings and special occasions. No matter what the fashion police say my traditional look will never be complete without a bindi.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.