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Monday, March 19, 2012

My collection of Kumkuma Baharanis

Collecting things is one of the very old hobbies. Collectibles vary; stamps, coins,idols, paintings, magazines, movies... the list is endless. I think , stamp collection is the popular one. I remember, my elder brother used to collect stamps. He had ordered that if we found a stamp, we should give to him. We obeyed his order as if it was an order from an emperor:-).Not only that, we (me & my sister) used to compete with each other to collect maximum number of stamps . To accomplish this mission of collecting stamps,everyday we used to eagerly wait for the postman. We were not at all interested about the letters the postman was giving, our eyes used to look for the stamps first:-). In this era of SMS, emails, social networks etc rarely we see postman, and no letters at all. Courier guys are there, but most of the time they deliver heart breaking credit card bills :-).  Good old days...Really miss those days. Do you remember telegram? I think , even the people working in postal department ,must have forgotten about "Telegram":-). Most of the Kannada movies (I think Hindi also) had the  most common scene; hero or heroine receiving the telegram  with message,"Mother/Father serious, start immediately":-).
OK, I think I'm going away from the subject, by remembering old days.

I have collected some Kumkuma Bharanis-A small container to store  Vermilion . (You can read details about Vermilion here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermilion and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sindoor
Vermilion with Turmeric powder, as a dot on forehead between eyebrows 
 I don't know much about how the usage of Vermilion started, but when I asked some scholars in Sanskrit and Vedas,I got the answer as, Vermilion usage started as an Alankara ( Alankara in Sanskrit means-means to increase beauty of face or ornamentation).And according to some Cosmic practitioner/ Yoga practitioner , Ajna Chakra(situated in between eye brows) will retain the energy by this practice.
 Vermilion is significant in Hindus. With Vermilion, Turmeric powder is also used to worship God. Women in North India wear it as Sindhoor along the hair parting line. And women in South India apply  Vermilion with Turmeric powder, as a dot on forehead between eyebrows.
Nowadays, though vermilion is replaced by Bindis, its part of Hindu religious festivals.
Bindis in different color
In South India, whenever a woman visits house,  it is custom to offer Vermilion and Turmeric powder,when she is leaving . All (Hindu) houses will have a small container to keep Vermilion. In Kannada( my mother tongue) its called "Kumkuma(means- Vermilion) Baharani (means- container).
Coming back to my hobby- collecting Kumkuma Bharani; I don't know how and when it started. But now I've nearly 90-100 different varieties of Kumkuma Bharanis. Some in wood, some in Silver, some made using Shells etc. I will share the details of all the Kumkuma Bharanis I have, in the coming posts.
Let me start with this  today:
With lid closed                           With lid open
This Kumkuma Bharani is made of brass, and the lid has face of woman carved on it. What else can be better than this design! Vermilion which is used as Alankara,to increase beauty of a woman's face ,in a container designed like woman's face. I think you agree with this. 

I will share about the rest of the Kumkuma Bharanis in the coming posts,

Until then,
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana


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