“Vermilion” which is famously known as Sindoor in the Indian subcontinent is the most integral part of the weddings in our country. For those who are unaware of its significance, it is not merely a red colored powder, but has a deep meaning associated to it.
The concept of Sindoor dates 5000 years back from now which is evident from the excavations of those times. It is customarily applied by the women of Hindu culture on their foreheads along the parting of hair as a sign of holy matrimony and is symbolic of their husband’s longevity. A famous tradition commonly known as Sindoor-Danam or Dana takes place in a Hindu marriage whereby the Groom applies this sacred powder on the Bride’s forehead and which marks the beginning of their married life. Thus, along with Mangal-Sutra, Sindoor becomes the most important ornament of a married women.
Sindoor has a large amount of sentiments, feelings and symbolism attached to it which has been fairly expressed in every form of art,be it movies (Sindoor-1987),TV shows (Sindoor Tere Naam Ka) and music (Vermilion). There are old tales of Radha, wife of Krishna, turning this simple powder into a flame or that of Draupadi in the epic Mahabharat wiping it off in disgust showing its significance in those times too. Also the color ‘red’ denotes womanly powers of Sati and Parvati with people believing that Parvati protects those men whose wives wear it.The chemical composition includes Mercury, turmeric and lime which helps in easing stress and strain. It is commonly used to apply a dot on people’s forehead in temples.
During the olden days, Sindoor was prepared at home. However, now it is readily available in the market in various brands and qualities and at different prices. They are made of mercury and lead but Sindoor made up of herbal ingredients has been very sought after these days since it does not contain chemicals.
Famous beautician Shahnaz Hussain has her own brand of herbal Sindoors along with other brands such as Jovees Herbal and Lotus Herbal. Other noted brands include the Lakme Jewel and the Blue Heaven Platina. However, preparing it at home which many women prefer is an easy method. All that is needed to be done is simply mixing equal amounts of turmeric and lime(calcium hydroxide) and adding a little water to obtain a paste. This paste can subsequently be used to make small balls which in turn can be dried and crushed to get a perfectly red coloured vermilion.
Sindoor can be subdivided into three categories namely powdered, stick and liquid with powdered being the most widely used. It is an indispensable part of a married women’s life having incomparable significance.
This Sindoor has withstood the test of times with its importance unwavered and will continue to decorate the women’s forehead to signify the strength of marriage till eternity.
So if you’re one of those lucky women blessed with their better halves, flaunt that dash of vermilion. It’s not just a fashion statement, but also a beautiful gesture of showing your unconditional love for the man who makes your life a heaven on earth!