Bangles make me happy. That’s just how I roll okay. Glass bangles especially. Since our magazine is setting up shop in Hyderabad, I honestly believe that a work trip is in order. I want to go to Charminar and buy bangles and just die in happiness. Just. Die. In. Happiness.
I don’t know from where or since when this bangle thing happened. I know that it has been around for a while now. My earliest memories with glass bangles are from having watched my aunt spend Sundays cleaning out her box of bangles, neatly arranging them according to colour and wiping the dust clean with a soft cloth and then using mildly soapy water to clean it proper-like.
Watching her bent over her bangles intently, with her long hair falling over her shoulders with the Chennai sun blasting in through the open balcony doors, must have left an impression. Of course, back in the day, I couldn’t be trusted with anything perishable, food included. So, I found myself with an enviable collection of plastic and metal bangles. Each set bought to match some insane dance costume that I had to wear for the insane Annul Day productions in school. Over the years, my capable-of-breaking-anything-breakable habit went on hibernation a little. Once that happened I wore glass bangles more often. While my mother was convinced that I would break everything I ever wore, I kept buying!
It was in college that this love for glass bangles became unhealthily obsessive. I had a partner in crime – S Bhuvaneshwari Rao – who encouraged my tryst with bangles and cotton sarees like it was going out of style. Bhuva and I would plan saree days and dress up – bangles, anklets, bindis – the works. Those were days when someone followed me till the bus stop to declare his undying love. I mean, I don’t see how a fat girl in a saree showing off her thoppai excites you, but it does apparently. I don’t see how you think passing on that information to the source of your excitement is going to make her swoon in absolute adoration. Fool.
Which brings me to July 2011. I have three full boxes of an assortment of bangles. All kinds of bangles in all kinds of colours and almost every single one of them is closely linked to the sarees in my mother’s cupboard. The only reason that my collecting has hit a roadblock is because, well, they don’t make glass bangles like they used to. These says, almost everything is covered with that unsightly glitter that falls on your clothes and face and you end up looking like some character from a school pageant! I want plain, cut-glass bangles.
I’m told that Hyderabad has all kinds of bangles and I hope that they have not commercialized to the point of making my favourite kind of bangle extinct. I’m looking forward to my work trip to Hyderabad. And I hope it happens soon. For now, I will be content with what I have. Chennai does not have a market where one can go mental and buy bangles. Yes, Mylapore, but even that is difficult to wade through. Till then, I have to deal with owning metal bangles like these, which seem to uncannily match the clothes I’m wearing today (I wore them because they uncannily matched okay!)