Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rural encounter.

Picture credit http://www.artmajeur.com/en/artist/selvaimages/collection/water-colour-on-handmade-paper-2001/1291930/artwork/indian-village-women/4078249

A few days back I was sitting in a gold and silversmith's shop when two village belles strode in asking for a quarter of gold. One of them was very old and the other perhaps her daughter or daughter in law. Both wore those above calf length skirts with choli and dupatta. Looking at them I was reminded of the movies of yesteryears when most of the stories revolved around village belles who would be dressed like that. I had never seen villagers wear anything like that even though I used to spend summer holidays at a village in north UP.
I asked the older one what would she do with the quarter? The shopkeeper started to give an explanation instead and he said that they take pieces of gold and make their own ornaments. Whatever they wear is heavy solid and pure.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how talented, creative and independent the rural people are!

The older woman went on to say that the purpose of jewellery is to be heavy and chain like so that any woman wearing it has to feel the weight of it and be weighed down by it. A heavy necklace would ensure she didn't dare raise her head (or her voice). Heavy anklets ensured she could never run away. This is a kind of women policing women.


I don't know if it is right or wrong.. but after women have been liberated, men are a frustrated lot, they seem to hate the women who take away their jobs right from under their nose, who refuse to stay at home and wait upon them. On top of this, there are lesser females being born because of the male preference and thanks to foetal sex determination tests! 


Anyways...it was a nice experience to know life of the villagers!

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