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Beauty comes in circles

Bangle stores in the city have an enticing range for shoppers



Rainbow-tinted circles of light
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.

— Sarojini Naidu

HAPPY DAUGHTERS and wives apart, bangles have always been part of Indian tradition and are symbols of status and joy in life.

Traditional kundans and yali-faced bangles though are giving way to the more modern dhildhariya bangles, copper kadas, Coorgi bracelets and even bangles made of one-gram gold. The stunningly shiny displays in the many stores include bangles such as the "Devdas set," named after the Shah Rukh Khan-Aishwarya Rai-Madhuri Dixit film. True to form, these bangles (priced at Rs. 22 upward) are made of mehendi-coloured metal and set with attractive jhumkis.

C. Vasant of Gurudev Bangles says the other new favourites among bangle-lovers are the dhildhariya from Delhi, which come in attractive shades, and the Syndhiya gold bangles.

Though college students are the trendsetters when it comes to the `wristy' business of choosing the season's best bangles, NRIs from Malaysia and Sri Lanka are not far behind while deciding on which jazzy bracelet will match their even jazzier saris and whether they want gold sprinkles or tinkling trinkets on their bangles, says Ramesh, an experienced shopkeeper at an accessory store on Perumal Mudali Street. People throng the smaller stores, he says, because they get good value for money.

There's another section of shoppers who look for exclusive stuff made of terracotta, bone, shell and even acrylic. Raji G. Ram Fashion Jewellery on TTK Road has an unusual range of brass and silver plated, lacquer, kada glass bangles, bracelets with polki stones, gold plated bangles and bangles made of an alloy of five metals. Bangles are designed to co-ordinate with the sartorial trends of the season, says Raji, who showcases her collection outside Sankara Hall. She also undertakes orders for functions.

Despite the popularity of these unusual materials, H. Mohanlal of Mohan Bangles on Perumal Mudali Street, says glass bangles remain the perennial favourite. They're cheap and come in all colours imaginable, he explains. Glass bangles even come adorned with sequins and zari work. Glass, lacquer, metal or stone, bangles in rainbow tints will continue to be an essential fashion accessory of the Indian woman.

MALAVIKA LAKSHMAN

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