Shopping with a teen


I love shopping, like every other woman. I can spend hours trying on clothes and accessories, and walking till my heels beg me to sit down. 

But shopping with a teen is another experience altogether. So we have jeans, tees and other tops on our shopping list. My daughter’s requirements are specific. She knows exactly what she wants, and goes looking for them with determination.

So, we go to the jeans store. My eyes pop with the sheer variety and cuts. All kinds of designs.

My daughter wants something cool. The shop assistant brings a pair that has scratches on the thighs. Like a cat clawed the cloth. My daughter finds this appealing.

Then we see ‘distressed’ jeans. I prefer the cat scratches. Sigh!

We move on to the t-shirts. My daughter brings 7 or 8 to try on. But they are all black in colour, with silver or white designs.

I ask her why she would want to look like the night sky all the time. She merely gives me that ‘Mom, I know what I am doing look’.

Courtesy – Clipart Panda

We go around in circles, getting loaded with black. Accessories are not very different – cool is feathers, cool is ‘can’t even see the dot that passes off for a earring’, cool is long chains. 

We finally finish. My daughter is so excited with her shopping. I amble home. I enjoy her energy.

 I know that her tastes will change. Vibrant colours will wash into her wardrobe, she will experiment. She will find her own sense of style that defines the unique person she is. She will stop trying to fit in and learn to be more comfortable in her skin. 

We will go shopping again, my daughter and I. We will sit down with aching feet and smile at the fun day we shared, sipping an aromatic cup of coffee. 

Glass bangles


I love bangles, glass bangles, to be precise. If you stopped to listen to the breeze in any part of the Indian subcontinent, you would hear the melodious tinkle of glass bangles, worn by women across the country.

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               Picture courtesy  http://www.geethafashion.weebly.com

In India, glass bangles are traditionally associated with most milestones in a woman’s life – engagement,  wedding and baby showers. After the wedding, most women wear a few glass bangles or at least metal ones everyday, as dictated by their culture and family traditions.

I love glass bangles for their rich colours and vibrant tones. Couple these with an elegant saree…and they look gorgeous.

In the south, many families host a small event called ‘Valaikaapu’ (The Bangle Ceremony), in a pregnant woman’s third trimester. Usually hosted by the girl’s parents, the day is filled with lots of fun, rituals and good food.

For this function, a few hundred glass bangles are bought. Women on both sides of the pregnant woman’s family adorn her with tinkling and beautiful glass bangles on both hands, usually odd-numbered. In addition, one thin gold and silver bangle each are put on each hand.  All women and girls, who attend the event, are gifted a few glass bangles. Usually there’s an assortment of colours to choose from.

The tinkling of the bangles is supposed to stimulate the baby’s senses. The bangles are usually removed, when labour sets in. 

These days, bangles are bought in bulk from shops, however, when I was a kid, a bangle-seller was called home. I still remember how excited we were when the bangle-seller came home with his huge bundle of glass bangles. We watched, as my grandmom and mom chose bangles for my aunt’s Valaikappu, and for all the women and little girls.

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                     Picture courtesy     
             varietybangles.weebly.com

Last year, there was a wedding in the family, and I stocked up on my glass bangles; colour coordinated with every saree I wore to the various ceremonies.

Simple tinkling accessories, that signify so much and that bring so much joy!