The Bangle Sellers
Bangle sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair…
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.
Some are meet for a maiden’s wrist,
Silver and blue as the mountain mist,
Some are flushed like the buds that dream
On the tranquil brow of a woodland stream,
Some are aglow with the bloom that cleaves
To the limpid glory of new born leaves
Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
Meet for a bride on her bridal morn,
Some, like the flame of her marriage fire,
Or, rich with the hue of her heart’s desire,
Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear,
Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear.
Some are purple and gold flecked grey
For she who has journeyed through life midway,
Whose hands have cherished, whose love has blest,
And cradled fair sons on her faithful breast,
And serves her household in fruitful pride,
And worships the gods at her husband’s side.
A beautiful poem depicting an Indian woman. I still remember the “churi wali” that used to come to our house. It used to be an excellent afternoon when the bangle seller, in our case a woman, would come. All the women would gather around and we as children would get our turns first. The churi wali would feel our hands and determine whether we had soft or hard hands. She would declare whether we were working hard or not. Whether our husband and mother in laws would like our hands or not. Our roles as wives and daughter in laws were predetermined and every step of our upbringing was worked towards becoming an accomplished one. Bangles were a big part of a woman’s life.
I still wear them and love doing so. Whenever I dress up in Indian clothes I always wear some bangles. The glass ones also have a sweet sound to them. My daughter also likes wearing them with the correct attire. Dressing up, enjoying and celebrating our culture always brings great happiness to me.