A South-Indian Bride’s jewelry consists of so many elements that you could easily get lost just trying to count them. From generations together the legacy had been carried forward by all the new age Brides. However, most of the Jewelry underwent updates and upgrades according to fashion and needs of the Bride. A simple, modest Kanti was replaced by heavy Bridal Daimond Chokers, Traditional Vanki has been replaced by Baajubandh to enhance the royalty of the bride.
However, there are few jewels, which almost went out of sight during the whole evolution. As they say ‘Surivival of the fittest’, these precious jewels are now hardly worn by any brides. The most important on top of this list is the majestic Surya Chandra Billa. I still have memories from my childhood when my mom use to pin these on either side of my pig tails (even when my hair could hardly hold up to a braid). Such was the importance given to them. My lil’ set of Surya Chandra was carefully preserved and used for my wedding last year. A precious gift to from my Late Grandpa to my mom when she was just 9. I was happy that I carried on the legacy.
Surya Chandra, as our ancestors see them, are very mystic and very powerful. In earlier days, they hardly allowed any girl with just wearing Maang Tika. Also a surprising fact is that in olden days, when they start purchasing jewelry for the girl child, since they din’t have a lot of money, they use to buy one piece at a time every year starting with Surya Prabha and Chandra Prabha and then Maang Tika.
While they may not be a common sight in weddings now, their place in Indian Classical dance forms can never be overtaken. Usually called as the the Talai-Saman, we cannot think of any classical dance without this pair. As discussed above, there are considered very powerful and are supposed to invoke blessings to the performer.The Surya Praba is always on the right and Chandra -Prabha placed on the left, seven inches above the hairline on either side of the parting.
All, this said, we would really want to encourage all the Brides to bring back the long lost jewels and to proudly present our legacy.