Jadai Alangaram

Jadai Alangaram

When I was trying to pen a few words on Jadai Alangaram, I did a search in google and I found the following passage in The Little Magazine in a story “Naga Pushpam” by Lakshmi Kannan. I cannot explain Jadai Alangaram better than Lakshmi Kannan. I reproduce the following description of Jadai Alangaram from Lakshmi Kannan’s Nagapushpam

“Special days such as Sankranti, Deepavali, Dussehra and Navaratri. The little girls of the household would be dressed in sparkling silk pavadais with matching blouses. The elderly women of the household, that is the mothers, grandmothers or the aunts, would then adorn the girls with ancestral pieces of family jewellery and stand back to fondly admire the loveliness of their efforts. In addition, they would also do a jadai alankaram. They brushed the hair of the girls till it shone, braided it, then decorated it in myriad ways with a variety of flowers — different kinds of jasmine, roses, kanakambaram and of course, the odorous green southern wood, the marukkozhundu. Occasionally, they would also include Nagapushpam, work lovely patterns on it with other flowers. Using a needle and thread, they stitched the flowers over the sword-shaped petals of Nagapushpam. Then, the strong odour of Nagapushpam would easily dominate the rest of the flowers, penetrating the nostrils. It never failed to attract attention.”

Jadai Alangaram

Now ready made Jadai Alangaram is available in the market costing about Rs 150/- . This scene at Koyambedu Market

3 Comments so far

  1. PSU (unregistered) on April 15th, 2006 @ 6:21 pm

    Ah! The power of words!!I can picturize the entire scene of little girls in pavadais dancing around the older people showing off their lovely creations! Now, if we could get a few shots of silk pavadais :-) all lined up in the stores, it would make the picture story complete!!!

  2. Shalini (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 9:46 pm

    I remember when we were kids, as a treat one summer, we had jadai alangaram done to us, and marched off to the nearest photo studio to click photos. I guess along with pavadai thavani, it has died a natural death too.
    BTW can someone do a feature on “Thavani poi, salwar vandhadu”

  3. G V Balasubramanian (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

    Thanks PSU and shalini for visiting and the comments

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