Monday Morning Questions Post! Election Week, Distract Me!

I need something else to think about so I don’t start looking up Canadian immigration laws.  Give me questions! (previous weeks here and here and here and here and here and here and here)

Ask me anything, either personal stuff (how long have you been watching Indian movies?) or general discussion questions (do Indian movie stars have a responsibility to speak out about American elections?) or specific things you are wondering about the films and you don’t have anyone else to ask (what is the significance of green bangles?).


As always, I am looking forward to the fun of trying to answer you!

15 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post! Election Week, Distract Me!

  1. What IS the significance of green bangles? I’m guessing it has something to do with marriage. It seems like the signs of a married woman varies by region in India. Here in the US, it’s just the wedding ring. What are they, and which goes with which region?


    • The green bangles are, I think, a generally north Indian thing. I’ve seen it in Punjabi and Maharasthrian and Bengali things as well. It’s supposed to be good luck for a bride to wear green glass bangles, and she is supposed to keep wearing them from the wedding until they break. So it’s also kind of “sexy”, because there is that whole thing about broken bangles meaning sexy-times.

      And of course there is also the Henna. Which is also I think a little more North Indian. The bridal Henna is significantly more elaborate, going all the way up to the elbow and the knee. And it lasts for a few weeks, so everyone knows you are married.

      I believe all cultures share the necklace as the symbol of marriage instead of a ring, like in America. I think the sindoor in the part is generally more North Indian than South Indian. And the south Indian necklace, as you have probably already noticed in films, looks very different from the northern, a yellow thread instead of black and gold. And the necklace isn’t just a symbol of marriage, it is a religious object. Which, I mean, wedding rings get blessed and all in most ceremonies, but I don’t remember hearing people making a big deal about losing them and buying a new one, or using them to pray for their husbands. Where as the necklace (Mangal Sutra in Hindi, Thali in the south) is more like a rosary or a bible, something with sacred power to it.

      There is some significance still to a ring, often there will be a big engagement party with a public exchanging of rings. I don’t know if this is left over from some older tradition (for instance, Sita and Ram had a significant ring that was sent back and forth by Hanuman), or if it is just a modification of the European tradition. It also seems to be related to the older tradition of “child marriage”. Which was really more like “child engagement”, there would be a ceremony and an agreement, and then everyone would go back to the school room for 10 years, and then there would be a second big party and ceremony when they were fully grown and the bride officially arrived at her in-laws house. So having a big exchanging-of-the-rings moment sort of creates that same effect, a promise has been made, but all the ceremonies of moving into a new house are still being prepared. Not that everyone does it like this, of course. Sometimes you just decide to get married, and then get married.

      There are also just some general “I’m grown up now!” style things about a married woman. She usually has her hair pulled back and put up, instead of down or in a braid. She often has slightly more jewelry, or heavier jewelry, she may have a large red dot on her forehead. Oh, and she wears saris, not Salwars or jeans or anything like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Speaking of mangala sutra — here’s a challenge for you. I remember a scene with (I think) Karol and (I think) Aamir in which she goes to a construction site where he is working. And, she needs to get his lunch to him (or something like that). And, because of the noise, people cannot hear what she’s yelling. So, she holds up her mangala sutra to explain she’s trying to get something to her husband.

    And the video clip is available somewhere — but I can’t find it.


    • That’s from Dil! Madhuri and Aamir, I think their only film together. Really silly light-hearted 90s romance, that turns super dramatic in the second half. It’s also a big Mangalsutra film in general. Right after that scene (SPOILERS for people who haven’t seen Dil!), Aamir is in a construction accident. To get the money to pay the doctors to save his life, Madhuri goes begging to his parents. And his father, who was against their match, says he will pay her the money, but only if she swears never to try to reach Aamir again. Fine, no problem, if it will save his life. But then he asks her to give him her Mangalsutra, and she declares she can’t, because the Mangalsutra isn’t just about her, it carries with it all the prayers and good wishes she has put in for her husband’s life. And I actually can’t remember what the resolution is! But I found the argument very informative, since it taught me that a Mangalsutra is more than just a symbol of marriage, it is a sacred object.


    • It’s about a 5 on the Shahrukh scale. About the same quality level as Baadshah or Yes Boss or Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, if you’ve seen those.

      His chemistry and his whole romance plot with Juhi is delightful, and super sexy! I think it might be the sexiest movie they’ve ever been in together. But the plot really really doesn’t hold together in the final third. And Shahrukh is kind of too much of a jerk to be redeemed fully in the first third.

      But yes, I would say you should still watch it, if only for Shahrukh with a shoulder holster and the amazing Juhi moments. Oh! And an AR Rahman soundtrack! A lessor soundtrack, but it’s still Rahman.


  3. Since it’s Children’s days already, my question will be related to the topic.

    I noticed in some films of 60s (a little earlier or later too maybe) they use so much make-up on young girl-actors. Why is it so? It looks so unnatural and grown-up women style. I doubt that in reality kids were wearing it so much (if any) or were allowed enter a class like this, for example – (nice song, anyway).


    • This is me just making a leap of logic, but I think it might be because the make-up is less about making them “beautiful” or sexy or anything, but more about a performance tactic. The outlined eyes and lipstick could be considered tools of expression, certainly for adult dancers that kind of make-up is set to highlight their eye movements and other facial gestures. More like clown make-up than like beauty pageant make-up. Does that make sense?


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