Wishing my readers a happy month of Shravan

We are now in the highly auspicious month of Shravan in the Hindu calendar (that’s July/August). Shravan is a special month for Shiva, and is also a time for unmarried girls to mark certain observations to get celestial help in bagging themselves a decent husband. One of these is fasting on Mondays, the other is wearing green glass bangles for the whole month (or sometimes green and orange). For optimal effect, the bangles have to be worn through the whole month, and can only be removed on August 17th.

Ladies in this part of the world take this practice pretty seriously. Last year, I was out in the field on the first day of Shravan. Early in the morning, my Nepali colleague excitedly told me to come to a little shop across the road where there was a ‘surprise’ for me. The surprise was an old lady with a stack of green and orange bangles ‘which you MUST wear for a good husband’. She proceeded to try to shove the tiny bangles over my large videshi wrist. They had clearly been designed with someone more dainty in mind. Despite my cries of protest, she succeeded (spurred on by words of encouragement from my friend. E.g do you want to die alone, woman?). I emerged from the shop with a red, grazed hand and ten shiny glass bangles. I did actually keep them on for the whole of Shravan. My colleague was checking.

An Indian friend of mine in Nepal is wearing her kangan somewhat reluctantly this year, and has even broken a couple by accident. I have heard that this is not a cool thing to do, because every time you break one of those bangles, an eligible man from an appropriate income bracket and caste dies, marries someone else or discovers that he is gay.

So ladies, look after those bangles and have a happy, fun and fasting filled Shravan, free from traumatic dates, crossed romantic wires and those weird men that your parents propel you towards.

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