a white memory lane

Thats what I see from outside my window.

The outside is beautiful with thick, lush, white sheets of powdery snow. The green lawns are disappearing fast, the cars are becoming one with the concrete and the rooftops look like grand sheets of cake with icing.

Our very first snowfall in the area and boy, am itching to run out into it. The snowflakes remind me of thick jasmine flowers of the summer – it’s raining mallipoo’s in zero degrees temperatures indeed. Splats of snow as they hit the ground take me back to my grandma’s backyard. 

My older guy cousins would shake the creepers and dozens of flowers would fall over my head, as I scramble to collect them all. More buds the better. Long braids needed lots of white flowers. The poola jadas would be braided. A summer ritual everytime we visited the grandparents. I think I beat my sister in the number of times I got that done. Though painful keeping still, not just your body, but your neck and head and we didn’t have Doras or Elmos to keep you entertained those days, I absolutely loved the end result. Top it with a silk skirt, and later on with the more traditional langa voni and running all around feeling cutesy and pretty [not to mention the blatant showing off to anyone remotely willing to pay attention], it was like a dress up party of the present day generation.

It is indeed quite satisfying to see that the daughter now wants to wear langa vonis and does want to do all the traditional jazz. The reasons can vary from emulation of the heroines,  to wanting to hold onto roots, or just maybe because like me in the corner of our secret minds, find the attire, flowers and the jewlery a way to like ourselves.

Despite it all, the end justifies the means. Always.

[On a completely dejected note, I realise despite all the googling, I couldn’t find a single snap of the original style of braiding. The one linked above is another blogger and is a lot more elaborate wedding style. I should go home and dig some of my older ones or even my daughter’s perhaps… hmm..]

*sigh..and now apparently we are allowed to go home with the weather threatening to get worse. So yay, driving back, I can dream of times when all I had on my mind was flowers, my favorite kuppelu [yes, I had my own and despite being smaller and not as showy as my sister’s they were the best!] my gajjelu and my green pattu langa.

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10 replies on “a white memory lane”
  1. says: Praveen

    Ur post reminds me of my childhood days with the grandparents too. I remember my sis struggling to sit straight during her ‘jadai pinning’ sessions and getting pinched at the back by my grandma..even remember looking at gals of my age with the ‘davanis’, they do look lovely in them don’t they? :)where do u get to see all these now..


    sigh 🙁

    njoy the snow fall 🙂

  2. says: lekhni

    I had long thick hair as a kid too..and had to dress up every day for Navratri.. the whole braid thingie used to weigh a ton 🙁

  3. says: rads

    Lekhni: Oh yes, the cribbing started as soon as all have been tortured with the fashion show. Nice seeing u here.

    BPSK: hehe, totally. Am still stuck there 😉

    Praveen: That picture sure is worth a 1000 words. Of course my words could very well be different from others, but yea, sums it well 🙂

  4. says: bApHoMEt

    I miss the old days too. I used to love wearing the jadas. they felt so cold when you touch them, even in summer. but i had to do all this when no one was around ofcourse, what with me being a boy n all.

    sweet post rads. brings back quite a few memories of my own too. mostly involving cross-dressing and jada-wearing (in my childhood ofcourse)

  5. says: rads

    Baph: er, okay. Care to explain what a ‘jada’ is? Coz I am torn between wanting to believe we mean the same and not.

    Sush: Thanks! 🙂

  6. says: cydonian

    Within the span of this thread lies a Three Step Process to Seducing The Cydonian (if, indeed, all seduction were merely physical and not, as it were, intensely mental, which is often the case for me). Modesty prevents me from pointing fingers at the right props.

    The subtext, of course, is that such a Three Step Process has never happened so far; we’ve had Four Steps, may be Two, but not this Three Step Process. All of our childhood fantasies have some element of sexual inneudo in them.

    Also, gajjelu brings me to this DD oldie:-

    నలు దిశల రాగములు ధ్వినించెను,
    గజ్జెలు ఘల్లున లయ పలికెను,
    గొంతులెల్ల భావముగా పాడెను:
    ఇది దేశ, రాగ, భావ సమ్మేళనం.

    (For you non-Telugu folk, this is the translation:-

    Raagas sounded from four directions,
    Gajjelu were keeping the beat,
    Voices echoed with essence:
    This is a national, musical gathering with essence.)

    The song, of course, can be read in multiple layers, all of which can be seen in a longer, more elaborate blog-post shortly.

  7. says: bApHoMEt

    @rads: i meant the chainlike things made from flowers and a string that you wrap around hair buns. i dint have hairbuns, so i just wrapped it around me head.

  8. says: rads

    Baph: aahhhh, gotcha! 😀

    Cyd: Reading the comment again sets me off tangentially. 🙂

    Waiting for the post, it’s about time you wrote!

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