Ever since I was a little girl, the concept of the ‘Chooda’ fascinated me.
The Chooda is a set of white and red bangles, a Punjabi tradition, and an integral part of a bride’s attire. It is worn for up to a year after the wedding.
Growing up, I saw it on young brides in the family, on cousins, and older sisters of friends. Ever since I can remember, I was always fascinated by it. I must have designed and redesigned the pattern I would like to have for my Chooda a hundred times over the years.
And then, when I met A, the Chooda took on a whole different meaning. Everywhere we went, I would see girls wearing the distinct bangles. I would follow them with my eyes, wonder what their life was like, and how it felt to be married to the person you are so in love with. I was just another college girl yearning to get married to A – very, very Bollywood, but very, very real.
So when it came time for me to have my very own Chooda, I was, naturally, ecstatic.
I did choose the pattern of my own bangles, but as per tradition, they were hidden from my view until I was all decked up as a bride. I will post another time on the actual ceremony.
I just wanted to mention what it is like actually living with them. 10 months after the wedding, my Chooda is still very much on, and I am still very much in love with it. As most chooda sets these days, mine is encrusted with shiny stones and reflect light fantastically. Each time I catch sight of it in the mirror, it never fails to make me smile.
It is, after all, a little bit of the wedding that I carry into each day of my newly-married life.
They are not just bangles – it is a statement to the world, and it is a symbol of blessings. My family put it on me with love, with tears, and with clean hearts as I was sent into my new world. I remember being worried about swimming with it on our honeymoon because I was scared the chlorine would bleach it. Thankfully, the colour is still the same as it was when it was brand new.
It does come in the way at times, and sometimes I feel very hot having it on me. But – I would not take it off for small inconveniences. It has come to me after a lifetime of wait – I will wear it for the full year. A sometimes get annoyed with it. When I sleep, I tend to move around and there have been a few occasions when the chooda came crashing into his nose as I slept. He has a few scratches he likes to show me every now and then.
And yet – I love it. It is the sparkle around me, and highly cherished. I sometimes wonder if there are any young girls looking at my chooda and thinking about their own in the future.
I hope there are, and I hope they get what they desire 🙂 Life does come full circle.