Gone are the days when our mothers and aunts sported the famous red ‘Bindi’ on their foreheads to proclaim their married status. However, times have changed; this beautiful dot has transformed itself into various designs, shapes and sizes. It has come back into vogue, in fact it was always in fashion, just resting for a while! The bindi has the power to distract attention from other expensive jewellery with its sober scintillating beauty. This symbol of beauty and femininity is not differentiated by anyone on the basis of religion or language. The bindi does not bind you to any tradition, nor by any strict codes; it simply encourages you to appreciate yourself and your femininity.
The history of the bindi goes back to the old Hindu tradition of wearing it as a social symbol, as well as a sign of protection. The word ‘Bindi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Bindu’, meaning a drop or a dot. Earlier, Indian Hindu women would wear a large red vermillion bindi on their foreheads only after marriage because it is a symbol they bringing prosperity into their new homes.
Bindi is called ‘Tilak’ in Hindi, ‘Tikli’ in Marathi, ‘Pottu’ in Malayalam and Tamil, ‘Kunkuma’ in Kannada, ‘Tilo’ in Konkani, ‘Chandlo’ in Gujarati, and ‘Bottu’ in Telugu. It is popular even in other South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal. Traditionally, Indians believe that the bindi acts as the third eye and is beneficial to your inner being, because if there is some negative energy coming your way, it can cast it off. Therefore, now you not only have a coruscating little crown on your forehead, but you also have a divine centre-piece that protects you!
The bindi comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and ensembles, from the smallest black dot, to the finest intricate gathering of swarovski, sparkles, matted shades in various hues. You could select a designer bindi, for occasions like wedding or any traditional festival; or a simple multicoloured stick-on-bindi available with road side sellers, which could go with denims, t-shirts etc. The bindi no longer remains an Indian possession; it is widely used by European women to go with their ethnic outfits. Hollywood celebrities sport colourful bindis further propelling this humble accessory’s fame. So the bindi does justice to not only the dusky Indian complexion, but also to fair coloured women of other origins, and lends even more beauty to their gorgeous glowing skin tones.
Women often worry about their shopping expenses, yet end up purchasing expensive accessories. A simple and great way of curtailing the budget would also be to look at inexpensive options like the bedazzling bindi, of course! However, be careful of what sort of colors, shapes and sizes you choose. A broad forehead can carry off large bindis really well, whereas, a narrow forehead can wear the small dot bindis, or long slim bindis well. All said and done, it is a matter of personal preference after all.
If you are heading out to a party, and did not get time to purchase a jazzy outfit to enhance your presence, do not fret; reach out for your collection of dazzling bindis and add the much needed glamour to your sober outfit. You don’t necessarily need to wear the bindi right between the eyebrows; you can place it a little above or even right on the middle of the forehead. Experiment a bit, and select where it looks best on you.
Not everyone can afford to purchase diamond earrings, jewellery, but every woman has the right to look her best. That is every woman’s birth right, and the bindi in its glorious splendour can do that for you. In addition to jewellery or other artificial add-ons, the Bindi shall never lose its place in the treasure chest of a woman’s fashion accessories.