deponti (deponti) wrote,

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Something that's disappearing...

Walking in BTM Layout today, I spotted this laughing young girl:


She is wearing the "dhAvaNi", which is also called the "half-saree". It is a "pAvAdai-shattai" (long skirt and blouse) worn with a half-saree. Most south Indian young girls used to wear this once upon a time; my theory is, that the girls attaining puberty would have the remnants of sarees from older family members and would wear that along with the pAvAdai-sattai that they already possessed. The developing bosom had to be covered, in our prudish culture, so the pAvAdai-sattai of the younger days had to include the dhAvaNi, also. How did the dhAvaNi get its name? I don't know.

The dhAvani in Tamizh culture and literature symbolizes the girl's attaining maturity in many ways. There's a movie by Bhagyaraj called "dhAvaNik kanavugaL" (dhAvaNi dreams)...and I still remember the lovely old song, "pAvAdai dhAvaniyil pArtha uruvamA?...ivaL poovadai veeshi vara, poottha paruvamA?" (Is this the form that I saw in pAvAdai dhAvaNi, is she blooming and redolent of floral fragrance?")

A lovely thing about that song...the primary rhymes are "uruvamA" and "paruvamA"..but the secondary rhymes, "pAvAdai" and "poovAdai" is "pAvAdai"..."pAvai + Adai" ...the garment that a pAvai, or a girl, wears; and the other is "poovAdai"..."poo + vAdai"...flower + fragrance.

What mastery of the language these lyrics show....

The half-saree is such an essential part of Tamizh culture....I wonder how many young women wear it any more. In the old days, when a young woman got married, she had to start wearing "pudavai" or sarees, and put by the attire of her unmarried girlhood.

I actually studied in a south Indian school in Calcutta which had both skirts/shirts and half-sarees as the uniform for the girls. The sight of this young girl brought back many pleasant memories...
Tags: culture, fashions, memories, photography, saree, tamizh

  • Hulimangala, Sun, 250721

    I always worry when visiting a bird/nature location either for the first time, or after a long gap, if I am bringing a group along. What will the…

  • The flower

    What is a flower But Beauty? When the petals are scattered The fragrance has gone It's dead, I agree. The flower has faded... The bloom is now…

  • Kolar, 01,020721

    Twelve of us had a simply amazing "other-creatures" outing to Kolar. I am giving all the details of our trip here, for anyone to refer to.…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.