Tuesday, June 10, 2008


do most of you out there even know what a parandi is? (wikipedia has a page on parandis, wow, and you dont need rubberbands to tie the ends, you just knot it!)

well, i had very long hair until i was fifteen. then to my mother's relief and delight i chopped it all because i was too busy going nuts in college to bother about decorating, combing, grooming my hair. so off it went. and with it the lovely satin parandis i had collected. i wore them only at weddings, and those were few and far between.

in college, on one of my trips to the punjab, i picked up four bright coloured parandis, flecked with gold, for old times sake. also in the hope that someday i might spend more than three minutes in grooming myself. maybe grow my hair long, use the bright parandis to make a colourful knot at the back of my non descript head.

the parandis stayed in their cloth pouch. i did grow my hair in the institute, ironically because i did not get time to cut my hair in my third year. by the time the diploma film was done my hair could be tied and got out of the way. that was the way it stayed until sanah turned one, and i cut my hair because i had, yes, you guessed it, no time.

and today, she found the pouch and pulled out a bright yellow, majestic red, deep green and a black and gold parandi.

aah, yeh kya hai?

she lay them out on the floor, caressed them, combed them and asked what they were for. when i told her she said, mere baal kab lambe honge?

yes dear, when you have the time, your time, you can grow your hair and oil it, wash it, braid it, decorate it, toss it like those shampoo ads' women, or whatever. on your time! until then, smart short haircuts, and parandis will remain wonderful nostalgic artefacts that we can ooh and aah over.


karmickids said...

Gosh, I had so many parandis when my hair was long and till my hips. I wore it when I dressed up in ghagras for dandiya...
Miss them. Thank you for making me nostalgic about something so beautiful..

dipali said...

We used to my fascinated by our mother's one and only simple black parandi! And in college, I think I did have a couple. Dream on, Sanah- till you have parandi-long hair and your mom dresses you up and posts pictures of you for all of us here to
ooh and aah over:)
Sur, now I'm trying to imagine you with long hair!

Anonymous said...

Oh I love them! I had (still have) them in every color, and both in South and North Indian styles. I even wore my grandmother's gold one (The "cones" on each bunch were made of gold) a few times..Used to wear them to any and all events I could! I still have hair long enough for them, but have reached a stage of "wanting to dress my age" :-) Tomboy daughter HATES long hair and anything to do with it, so my parandhis stay in their pouches!

Thanks for bringing back memories!


Manpreet said...

I still have my Parandis. I have a beautiful magenta one, with ghungroos and mirrors, bought especially from Patiala by my mother in law for me. I make an excuse to wear it with any suit by adding some magenta to the dress-up. HE he he.
And the eternal Golden, I found it too simple and added a lot of ghungroos to add weight and zing to the item.

minubhai said...

hey! i've got long hair and i want a parandi too!