My Tribute To Sridevi – The Count Of Nau (Nine)

Posted: March 6, 2018

Sridevi was not just an actress, she meant different things to different people. Here’s how she enchanted the four-year-old me with her nau-nau chudiya.

Sridevi was indeed graceful, beautiful, zestful and a powerful actress. The whole of this week has been about mourning and remembering – discussing her life – movies, songs and even interviews.

I was digging up my memories and I found a few bangles.

I must have been around four when my aunt took my cousins and me to watch Chandini over the weekend for a night show at an old theatre. I have foggy flashes of the brown seats in the balcony and a crowd screaming, whistling and dancing. It must have taken me a while to love the scenic beauty, the chiffon sarees and adapting to melodies but it was the nine bangles on Sridevi’s hands that I instantaneously fell in love with.

I would’ve loved to copy her choreography and even her expressions. I was enchanted.

I even forced my mother to even buy me bangles of different colours, and suddenly pink was a favourite. I would wear a pink Ghaghara and rehearse a lot. Most of my concerts were to my dolls and books.

I didn’t know how to count. It was a riddle that I was decoding. I perhaps knew what four was but nine was way too complex. So I spent time watching her on VCR and I tried counting on the screen, many times- well, every time my parents played the movie. Counting was not simple. I thought maybe nau chudiya meant covering half the arms with bangles.

So I discussed my complications with my supervisors. My grandmother, a maths teacher, opened a few fingers and showed me the count. It reminded me of “twinkle twinkle little star” and five distracted minutes later, I was just reciting the rhyme.

With my mother I used a different tactic, I tried analysing the number of bangles on her when she was asleep. In fact, one day, out of pity she wore nine bangles and counted. But Chandini was wearing a lot more. Definitely, my mother didn’t know how to count, I inferred.

Finally, one day, when the whole house was napping in the mid-afternoon, I proceeded with my secret operation- I picked up my mother’s vanity case, picked as many bangles as possible. I was counting on my memory, vague recollections of the song and everything I was advised with. I was preparing for this day, all my life.

At the point, it occurred to me “Nau-Nau” in fact meant nine twice which had to mean infinity and maybe, my mother knew counting. So I dressed up with extra large-bangle decked hands – from my arms to my wrists.

Finally, with the mission accomplished, I grinned.

With the pride of successful and smart thinking, almost seeming like a bangled robot, I stood in front of the mirror sweating – it was performance time, the dance floor was ready. So as I balanced the colour scheme and sequence of bangles, I slowly tried moving a centimetre of my hands towards my face and even before a millimetre of me moved, I was captivated.

My mother counted twenty-five bangles on each arm: close enough to infinite, I assumed. I believed that Chandini had led me to learn how to count.

Image source: YouTube

Liked this post?

Become a premium user on Women’s Web and get access to exclusive content for women, plus useful Women’s Web events and resources in your city.

Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, you can request to be a Women's Web contributor too!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Comments

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

Feminist Book Picks

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Kadam Chhota Change Bada