I am emotional, passionate and artistic and chubby. I was empowered with this self-knowledge after reading Cheiro’s Language of the Hand. My palm has a red, full-fleshy, dome-like Venus mount which strongly asserts my emotional and passionate (read, romantic) side. I have a broad soft palm, and long fingers with conical tips, which means I am artistic (and philosophical). To know that I am chubby doesn’t require knowledge of Chiromancy. It is blatantly evident.
When I read Cheiro as a teenager, I never realized the shape and size of my palm will actually reflect on my life. The Gods had doomed me to a life of misery, where I could never walk into a jewelry shop and pick up a readymade set of gold bangles. The shape of the hand, and the ever-protruding Venus mount ensured that I would always have to go for made-to-order bangles.
With all the uniqueness that the Almighty bestowed on me, he also gave me a unique bangle size – 2.7. (For those who are not aware, readymade bangles come in even number sizes – 2.4, 2.6, 2.8. For those who are further interested in knowing the intricacies of sizes and shapes in a woman’s life, marriage is strongly recommended!)
Coming back to the bangle-induced misery in my life, I can still recall the worried look on my husband’s (fiancée at that point-in-time), when we were shopping for gold bangles. Gold bangles, heavy and intricate, form an important part of the Sindhi bride’s trousseau and are usually the object of inquisitive investigation at the in-laws house. Women gather and discuss the tola (gold weight), width and number (minimum-requirement is eight) of the bangles.
Now, I am of the school of thought that why should a woman have eight identical gold bangles. I had a harrowing time trying to get my would-be out of the snare of the “Octopus”. He reluctantly moved from eight to six! I took a deep breath. I had made some progress, but I had to further negotiate. More debate, more discussions, more frowns, more worried looks and sweat-on-his brow but I finally won and we came down to a reasonable digit of four. Amidst the entire ruckus, we had managed to significantly delay bangle-shopping and now we were sitting in a jewelry shop five days before our marriage, trying to purchase bangles – that vehemently refused to fit.
I winced and cringed, perspired and palpitated, sighed and finally gave up with a bruised and battered hand. It was official. Readymade bangles would not fit. We moved from one shop to another trying to find a set that fit, but no success. The only option was to order bangles in size 2.7 but we were short of time. Finally, we negotiated with a jeweler who took the order to make the bangles and also gave us a set of 4 readymade bangles of a smaller size, to display in the trousseau. That evening the color returned to my would-be-husband’s face. Finally, his bride would come home with gold bangles.
But the tragedy of the bangles continued to haunt my life. I had temporary relief for some time when I wore the traditional red-and-white crystal-studded churha or ivory bangles as worn by brides in Punjab. My clients were visiting in February, and as a dignified professional, I did not want to look like the “misbegotten-child-of-diverse-cultures-playing-hanky-panky”, adorned in a formal trousers and shirt, with elbow-kissing red and white churha. So the churha had to go, and my miseries return.
In a certain society, it became a matter of great concern that how could a new bahu not wear bangles – gold bangles. I took out two out of the set of four and slipped them on, but it wasn’t enough!
“There should be two each in each hand.”
“But I wear a watch on my left hand!” I protested.
“I travel alone, mostly late in the evening and I am afraid so much of flashy gold will attract muggers.”
“Muggers have no one else to mug but you!”
I was falling fast out of love with bangles, specially my gold bangles. Anything that attracts negative attention, apart from my weight (which is difficult to shed) is immediately discarded by me as a nuisance in my life. I was disgusted with my gold bangles. Naughty! Naughty bangles! Causing me so much woe since the day I planned to bring you home!
To cut a long story short (rather to prevent me from launching into an anti-bangle barrage of unacceptable curses) let me tell you the status quo with bangles in my life. Well, the gold bangles have been pushed into a certain hidden corner in my drawer. My husband has been informed that a small-uplifted mesh in the bangle-design is causing tiny rip-offs in delicate fabric – the design-defect has been cleverly demonstrated to him so that there is no further debate.
The husband lovingly purchased two sets of “lac” bangles to be mixed and matched with my dresses. I broke a couple of those the moment I was trying them on. It was unintentional – the broad Venus mount was unflinching and the lac bangles crumbled. Two more broke a few days (precisely two-days) later. I have destroyed the two sets (believe me, it was unintentional and I grieve the death of the lac bangles). As of today, I am wearing four very sleek metallic bangles … I am allergic to metal. The allergy usually manifest in three-four days ……!