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Divorced & Widowed Women Are Still Considered Inauspicious For The ‘Bangle Ceremony’ And That’s A Shame!

Why do small-minded people still consider single mothers, divorced or unmarried women inauspicious for rituals like the bangle ceremony?

Why do small-minded people still consider single mothers, divorced or unmarried women inauspicious for rituals like the bangle ceremony?

No matter how much progress women make, these kinds of thoughts still hover in the minds of  some people. Isn’t that unfortunate, as in the end, who other than a woman can understand another woman better?

I have seen this scenario repeat several times.  I am replaying it here with fictitious names to make my point. 

The bangle ceremony invite was just a formality for the divorced Nithi

Nithi was preparing to leave for college where she was working as a lecturer. Just then, the doorbell rang. Her mother attended to it. Nithi is divorced and staying with her parents.

“Oh! Poorna, what a pleasant surprise in the morning. Please come in!” Nithi’s mother Mansi welcomed her cousin. Nithi was getting late, but still, she rushed to the kitchen to make some tea for the unannounced guest.

“So, how is everybody at home? By the way, how is Krithika doing? This is her seventh month of pregnancy, right?” Mansi inquired.

“Oh! You read my mind. I came here to invite you to her bangle function. This is the invitation. You should surely come,” Poorna handed over the invitation.

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Nithi entered smilingly with the tea tray and placed it before them. An uneasy silence prevailed, and Poorna was not sure if she should invite Nithi for the function. Understanding the gloomy environment, Nithi hurriedly walked out, waving to her mother and Poorna.

Poorna quickly finished her tea and stood up. “Mansi, I’ve got a lot more invites to give out. Please do come and bring Nithi along.” Mansi smiled as Poorna left. She understood that inviting Nithi was only a formality.

 

Poorna wonders if the young widow will be inauspicious for the bangle ceremony

The next house visit was to Rathna, her sister-in-law. To her surprise, Rathna wasn’t at home and she was received by her daughter Pritha. Poorna’s mind was again a tangled mess. 

“Pritha, please give this invitation to your mother. And don’t forget, you and Rathna should come for the function.” Pritha, a young widow and single mother,  tried her best to smile, mindful of the fact that her aunt was uncomfortable including her in the invitation.

The last pending person on Poorna’s list was Nadiya, her best buddy from school. Thankfully, Nadiya was at home. “Oh! It has been long since we met each other.” Nadiya was glad to meet her friend. After the usual talks, Poorna was ready to leave.

“You should come, Nadiya, no excuses. Also, bring your daughter along.” Nadiya nodded. Poorna completed the formality of inviting Nadiya’s daughter, but the fact that she was married and not yet a mother played on her mind. 

 

The “review” process for the bangle ceremony invitees…

The bangle function always holds a special place for every woman who is expecting her first child. Though the customs may vary according to the tradition followed in each family, the ultimate aim is to ensure she wears the glass bangles covering both her forearms.

The tingling sound that emerges is likely a way to interact with the little one inside the womb as scientifically it is stated that a baby responds to sounds from the seventh month. This is the primary reasoning behind the bangle function.

Now the important question that arises is that who are the women to attend the function and push the bangles in her hand. For this, I have witnessed quite a screening process for the invitees. I have seen the hesitation in people’s minds when it comes to inviting women who are single mothers, widowed or unmarried. 

 

Why this bias in today’s times?

Let’s take the first case. Here Nithi is divorced and staying with her parents. So when Poorna invites Mansi, she is sceptical about inviting Nithi because she fears her marital status may affect her daughter as she may bring on bad luck.

In the second case, Pritha is a young widow and a single parent. So again she fails in the “review” process. In the last case, Nadiya’s daughter is leading a happily married life but is yet to become a mother, which again is an impediment  in Poorna’s mind. 

Many parents like Mansi, Rathna, Nadiya end up saying the same thing when their daughters are treated like this. “I don’t know what sin I committed. My daughter’s life has become a mess.”

So if a woman takes the  bold step to step out of a bad marriage, then it means her parents have sinned? What about those parents that force their daughters to continue an unhappy married life inside the four walls? Do their sins get washed away in the holy river?

 

Each woman is unique and successful in her own way

Poorna, like many mothers, is overprotective of  her daughter and fears something bad will happen to her. Many times, in case if their daughter undergoes some complications during her delivery, then immediately the string is tied to the person who attended her bangle ceremony. Maybe she brought bad luck?  Such mindsets need to change.

No matter how much women progress, some small-minded people will always judge them.  This does not mean that we shouldn’t be organizing the bangle function at all.

The focus here is not to link the personal life of a woman to who she is as a person. Each woman is unique, and she is successful in her own way. In the end, who other than a woman can understand another woman better?

Image source: Still from Humari Waali Good News 

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