Bangles, colorful, tinted, with the magical tinkling sounds they produce. Who doesn’t love bangles? I know, almost we all do. How beautifully they adorn hands of a woman. They are more than just an ornament in our culture. It’s a married woman’s pride, worn in her husband’s name. Husbands love the sounds, don’t they?
How romantic is the sight of a husband buying colorful bangles for his wife and adorning her hands by slipping the hues into her hands. Bangles are a sign of the love they share, the bond, the relationship they have nurtured.
Everything is transient, so are human lives. What if the wife loses her husband? She becomes a widow. Only a spouse knows how it feels to lose someone they’ve been living with for years, how it must feel to lose their addiction, their part of life, their habit all at once. The Happy-Drug that was there for them every day ever since their matrimony, to listen to them, to help them in chores, to make love to them is forever gone. Every relationship is different but the degree of attachment is the same. They were attached to each other in everything. They couldn’t imagine their lives without the other and now one is alone. Only the Memories last. The loss is irreparable, unacceptable. The sympathetic family is there to try to condole her, shaken, they try their best to help her.
Losing someone physically is one thing, forgetting altogether is another!
The bangles that were the sign of her love, now a memory of her love are suddenly a bug in everyone else’s eye. The woman who’s too lost to even accept the damage is forced by the society to follow the norms made, norms that are too far from normalcy, totally inhumane, driven by blind believes, still existing without a hint of logic. The woman who hasn’t yet shed a tear in the grief, who is numb both physically and mentally. Rather than being given condolences and consoling, everybody eyes her colorful saree and the hues in her hands, and without a second thought, break her bangles by forcefully grabbing her both hands and hit them together. BAM! *Bangles break*
It’s done to the woman who is still unconscious of what is happening around. Some broken pieces even pierce her hand and it bleeds. But few drops of blood can’t draw her attention to herself, when all her mind is focused on the want to just see her husband back.
Why did they do it? Could breaking her bangles make her forget her half-soul? Could it in anyway calm her? No, so why should they do it.
What if the woman doesn’t want to remove her colorful sarees and the bangles? And why should she want so at the first place? The sarees and the bangles are the last symbol of their memories. Yes, these little things have in them, the part of their love’s soul, the things that were with them when they’re making memories in their lives, when they’re living together. The adorable red sarees that her husband gifted her and absolutely loved, and couldn’t keep her eyes off when she would wear them, the bangles in her hand, the tinkling of which always made him a little more in love with her than the last moment. How can she abandon them when they’ve in them her husband’s soul?
Also, she has been wearing them since their marriage, it has somehow become her identity. She wants to wear them. But after losing her spouse, everybody has their own thing to tell her, to shut her up, to impose something on her. They don’t allow her to wear anything colorful, and all her ornaments are snatched. The idea of love and relationship is not anywhere near to the concept that society is trying to indicate.
So only a married woman has the right to dress up, adorn beautiful sarees, bangles, and ornaments. Why can’t a widow still wear them if she wants to?
As per the societal norms, it seems that ‘bangles’ are carefully added to the concept of marriage. They’re not symbol of love as they call it. It’s an identity mark, a carefully placed barrier for a woman, a constant reminder to her and all around. These are nothing but colorful handcuffs that helps her being identified as either a sold or an unsold property.
So are these bangles, a symbol of love or colorful handcuffs?
The bangles that she wore thinking symbol of her love were just for his name’s sake, not their love. Because had they been a symbol of love for the society, no one would force her to remove them after losing the spouse.