The day has finally dawned. The day my little sister enters into holy matrimony. The day she will be united with her soulmate, a new chapter in her life. As I began to lay out all her bridal jewellery on the table near the dressing table. The lady who was going to help my sister with her make-up, hair and saree wanted to see the jewellery for her to plan her sequence of tasks. I picked up the mangalsutra, which my sister would not wear now. She’d need it later, at the auspicious sacred minute when the groom would tie it around her neck.
My thoughts rushed to the day we bought all this jewellery. We went to Vaibhav Jewellers, my family’s trusted brand for all South Indian Jewellery requirements. We spent a whole hour trying to decide on the mangalsutra. The incredible choice of mangalsutra designs available can cause difficulty in choosing one! The one that we finally chose was the result of a lot of discussion on design, versatility and practicality!
Another debate and discussion arose when we trying to decide on a vaddanam, the essential waist belt without which the bride’s dressing is incomplete. My sister thought it was extravagance, and said she’d just wear my mother’s for the ceremony. I was finally able to persuade my sister that she should get one for herself. Here’s what I said to convinced her.
Vaddanam: How it helps
A vaddanam is an ideal way to hold heavy silk sarees in place. It gives a neat, finished look to a draped saree, whether six yards or nine yards, and ensures the final look is one of immaculate perfection. Besides, it also gives the torso a slimmer and sleeker look. Fashionistas and grandmas alike advise that the vaddanam should be tied at the smallest part of the waist. And when you do this, the slimmest part of the upper body is accentuated, resulting in overall beauty.
Vaddanam: The tradition and history
The vaddanam, known by different names in different parts of India, like oddiyanam and kamarbandh, has been around for thousands of years. Egyptian tombs show that waist belts with beads and other precious and semi-precious stones have been around since 3000 BC. Ancient Indian Sculptures of women in temples and caves show women wearing vaddanams.
In classical dance forms like Bharathanatyam, Kuchpudi, Kathak, Kathakali, Manipuri, Odissi and Mohiniattam, the dancer always wears a vaddanam to complete her look.
No bridal dressing can be complete without the vaddanam. It is part of a set of South Indian Jewellery that is indispensable.
Vaddanam: The Versatile Accessory
I also tried to point out to her how versatile the vaddanam was. You can wear the vaddanam as a necklace. Either wear it as a single accessory around your neck or combine it with a choker or a short necklace for a grander look. There is a 5 in 1 vaddanam that can turn itself into a haram, necklace, locket and vanki.
And vaddanams need not be confined to traditional outfits like the saree, half saree or pavada and langavoni. A vaddanam can transform your look when worn with lehengas, gowns, dhoti pants and crop tops. Just let your imagination and creativity loose, and you’ll find the possibilities of creating endless new looks.
Vaddanam: The Family Heirloom
I also told my little sister that the vaddanam she gets as part of her wedding trousseau would be hers to pass on to the next generation with pride. A traditional item of precious temple jewellery they’ll treasure and cherish.
Vaddanam: The Choices and Styles Available
By this time, I could sense that my sister was already very interested and nearly convinced. And I knew that all I had to do was make her aware of the wide range she could choose from, and bingo! I’d have achieved my objective of making her want to buy a vaddanam! And I began:
I first told her that they could range in thickness from thin chain belts to thicker and wider designs.
Secondly, I told her that she could get them in a gold finish of her choice – yellow, matte, antique or she could go for the gem studded or diamond ones.
And there were so many more – the Ashta Lakshmi or Gaja Lakshmi vaddanam, the designer ones with CZs and south sea pearls, the floral designs, the naagas ones with traditional Goddesses, peacocks, elephants and lotuses, or the 5 in 1 I already mentioned!! The glint in my sister’s eyes told me I had succeeded. “Where should we go?” she asked.
My immediate response, “In Vaibhav Jewellers, of course.” And that’s how we ended up in Vaibhav Jewellers to buy all my sister’s bridal jewellery, including the vaddanam.
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