January 30, 2014

Shilpa, Char Chand lagaye

You have to agree, women are something. God gave them lips they put lipstick, God gave them eyes they put Kajal, God gave them forehead they put Bindi…
I am one of those - who loves to apply Bindi, who loves to wear Indian attires just because she can get to wear Bindi, who matches the color of Bindi to her dress, or probably the dress to the color of Bindi… The beautiful world of Bindi (or Bindiya)
Shilpa, Char Chand Lagaye
My first fascination with the world of Bindi happened as a kid, when I first saw the 'Shilpa Bindi' advertisement on Doordarshan. I am searching for the video. A young beautiful woman wearing a light pink Sari, pearl necklace, long silky hair, deep Kajal in eyes, flashing a pearly smile. Everything was perfect, but the only thing which got my attention was that Maroon round shaped Bindi. It was just magnificent, how all her beauty merged into that one simple adornment. And the musical jingle played in the background:
Shilpa, Char Chand Lagaye (Shilpa, Chan Chan Lagaye)
Shilpa, Char Chand Lagaye (Shilpa, Chan Chan Lagaye)
Hats off to the one who created this advertisement. To visualize that woman, strong and confident of her beauty and her own self. She may or may not have been married, with a large Bindi and pearl necklace instead of Mang Teeka or Mangalsutra. She does not cover her head but still likes to dress traditionally. She likes to be a woman and pretty herself, without a man in sight to compliment or admire her. In 80s this was a big deal. She was the face of modern Indian women, traditional but not conservative, wore make up yet looked natural, cultural yet confident.

I loved wearing Bindi as a kid. I wore it when I played Ghar Ghar with my friends or cousins, always a sign of the lady of the house. It could be Shilpa, or any local Bindi my mother could spare from her dresser for me to play with. But because of the cheap gum to stick with my mother forbade me to apply it any more. I loved it so much that I started applying it in secret, but unfortunately, I was always caught. 5 year old me, wondered how my mom found out every time. Of course the cheap gum mark, right in the middle of my forehead. Silly me, thought, I could fool my mother.
Marathi Half Moon Bindi & Bengali Full Moon Bindi
Over years Bindi has evolved with different fashions and fads. There was a time when I used to wear this Snake shaped curvy Black Bindi, another phase when I wore Diamond Stone Bindi on the outer edges of both eyes, or drew the art work right from the scratch. Every time it was a field day for my brothers teasing me royally for these experiments. Although in my mind I looked pretty and they were silly.

Now I am a grown up, and I still haven't gotten over this obsession. Having a broad forehead  only complimented this. Bigger is better after all.  I wear as much Bindi as I want, trying different shapes, sizes, colors, types, styles but the Plain Jane Bindi tops the list always. Whether Marathi Half Moon or Bengali Full Moon, there is a Bindi for every Indian dress and every occasion. Every time an Indian woman wears a Bindi, her beauty surely gets four moons…
The mercies, The moments, The memories, of applying Bindi, of being a girl, of being a woman, of being beautiful, and realizing 'I am beautiful'
<Image source: Indybindi, filmiadda, theindianweddingblog>>

8 comments:

Kokila Gupta said...

Hey girl...er...lady...you'v got atrue nostalgic and IndyBindi lover in me..Ofcourse its Shilpa who chaar chand lagaye but we are also good and can manage more chands then Shilpa! Loved your post... I am going to come back to ur blog afterall I am worth keepsake ;) Love , Kokila

Neha Gupta said...

Hey thanks Kokila.. we are definately worth all the moons (chaand).. would love to have you on my blog

Miranda said...

Hey sweet heart this is a wonderful blog. I did a google image search for "bengali woman girl" and i saw your picture, and i clicked on it and now I found your blog, it's great! i am american. I took a DNA test and learned that I am bengali, and now i study bengal every day and i love it so much. anyway i will make a blog here soon, and i'll explain everything :) miranda (matoaka7@yahoo.com)

Neha said...

Thanks Miranda for you heartfelt appreciation. I would love to read your blog and about the fascinating Bengali DNA story. although I have none in mine unless my ancestors have a history which I am unaware of.

Harini Aravind said...

Wonderful article about bindi. Nowadays keeping bindi is fading away.Even I was fascinated with that AD and crated my own designs using eyeliner. I have a blog for designs too

Neha said...

Hey Harini. Thanks for visiting. Yes Bindi is loosing its popularity. But I just love it and wear it on any given opportunity.

Juhi Gupta said...

What a lovely post on bindi, Neha. Was so besotted by the 'Shilpa char chand lagaye' jingle that I literally compelled my parents to name my younger sister 'Shilpa'!! And so dat's her name :)

More power to bindi, more power to subtlety and elegance.. Juhi

Neha said...

Thanks Juhi. It's quiet an interesting story you have there. You never know what becomes a keepsake for life.

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