Reshma Govind
Living close to San Diego we have tried to visit all possible places of entertainment there - Zoo , Wild Animal Park , Sea World. It is during one of these visits that I was stared up on by some as if I was an exhibit inside the zoo. It made me wonder whether I was looking awkward or simply beautiful ;). (i know..i know!!)The chances of second guess being almost impossible, I felt a bit uneasy!! I got to know their point of interest when some one came to me with the doubt. "Why are you having red color on your forehead??" Ohh…finally a relief to know that I am not looking that funny after all (or am I sad with the realization that I am not looking ‘simply’ beautiful?? :( )

Being a typical ‘nadan’(village) girl, Sindoor has always fascinated me. The special charm it brings to a newly married girl is wonderful. In fact I even adore a 60 yr old lady with Sindoor. I have loved it from a very young age and have always wondered how I would look in it when my time comes. As a young girl, I have also tried to analyze myself in imaginary sindoor (with whatever red color I can put my hands on!) in front of a mirror in all possible angles..(I know it sounds silly…but I am just a curious little girl..) . Now that I am married, I don’t restrict myself to a small dot or a single thin line. I don’t hesitate to make a good mark on my forehead even if I am wearing jeans. That might be the reason why people started staring!! But when all of a sudden, some body asked me the importance of Sindoor, I realized that I do not know what exactly it stood for. “In Indian culture it’s one of the symbols of a married woman”. That was all I could think about as an answer and i could tell from their face that they found it strange and i was left dissatisfied with my response. I really did not know how it became the symbol of a married woman (It’s a shame for a person who likes it so much!!!). Soon after I started the research to enlighten myself on the same. As usual I turned to Google -- now my ‘guru’ -- with my question... (he never hesitates to answer any of my questions…. be it silly or serious!).

Tradition of wearing Sindoor is said to have existed for more than 5,000 years in Hindu culture. Sindoor is vermilion, applied on the forehead in the parting of the hair by all married women. It is an expression of the desire for one's husbands’ longevity. It stands for power and good fortune and is a sign of "Soubhagya" in the case of married Hindu women. Traditionally therefore, widows do not wear vermilion. According to the scholars, red is the color of power and vermilion represents the female energy of Sati and Parvati. Hindus believe that Goddess Parvati grants "Akhand Soubhagya" (lifelong good fortune) to all the females who wear sindoor in their hair parting. Sindoor is applied for the first time to a woman during the marriage ceremony when the bridegroom himself adorns her with it. Traditional Vermilion/sindoor (or kumkum) is prepared by mixing turmeric, lime and mercury. Mercury controls blood pressure and activates sexual drive. Sindoor should be applied right up to the pituitary gland where all our feelings are centered. Having said all this, I would also like to remind you to be aware of the products now in market, as most of them have powdered lead compounds ,so be careful when you buy it!!!... So ladies, now you know what to say next time some body asks you about the red mark on your forhead :).

Labels: | edit post
8 Responses
  1. Joise Says:

    Did you know that the word came from the light of india; "sindh ka noor". A mark of the light in indian woman's life??

  2. Resh Says:

    Oh is it? i donno about that...

  3. Jyothy Says:

    hai .. good post... i too like wearing it .. jus lik u !!!

    Joise, thats a good origination for Sindhoor

  4. manumaan Says:

    Lets not kid ourselves.It is a mark put on a married woman so that she wont be advanced upon by other men. Then it was given all the religious color by our elders to enforce it.

    I agree that it looks good on a lady wearing an Indian dress (Saree or Churidar). With Saree, ladies may look incomplete without a Sindoor.Or may not.

    I dont have a problem if the woman wants to wear it and i did put on my wife's sindoor everyday in India. Its a cute gesture of love. But what is Sindoor? It is actually the thing in the 1st paragraph.

  5. Resh Says:

    hmmm...tht is also a reason ...but i dont think its jus that reason and rest all is fabricated....but good to know ur point of view:)...also i wont say its a must for all married women...lot of women look so beautiful without all those's just that i like it very much...

  6. Ninku Says:

    I like the activity of being worn sindoor by my husband. I used to ask my husband to put for me everyday.The enhanced beauty of a lady with sindoor purely is in the eyes of the beholder.

  7. Superchef Says:

    ive also read in a book that when sindoor is applied on the parting on your forehead, the devas and gandharvas get to see it from above and it tells them that the woman is taken and they should not try to seduce, there you go, one more!! :)

    I was going through all you posts..the driving lessons one was particularly hilarious :D

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I came to google abut this bcause nowadays most of the married girls dont feel good abut wearing sindoor,, but I love it,, .I was here to know y.. anyway m not fully cleared from ma doubts but felt quite sure that m not alone,,,, :P