'Maang-Tika' - not for brides alone!
This is a kind of Indian hair jewellery that is worn where the hair is parted into two sections in the middle of the head, and it touches the forehead. The word is derived from the combination of ‘maang’ which means parting of the hair and ‘tika’ or ‘tilak’ which signifies the red spot that a priest paints on the forehead of a Hindu woman as an auspicious sign. The ‘maang tika’ was earlier considered to be a piece of jewellery that was confined to bridal adornment alone; however, recent trends seem to have revamped this convention and nowadays girls of all ages love to flaunt this item of jewellery as an indispensable part of their ethnic or traditional get-up.
These are ingenious little stringed objects that have a hook which allows it to be attached to one’s hair as the rest of it dangles gently over the forehead, lending the woman an ethereal look. It dates back in history with a rich legacy in painting and sculptures as well, and has long been associated solely with Indian brides, but womenfolk in general have recently come to include it as an integral part of their beautification, as well as actresses, models and celebrities who have also woken up to the stunning appeal of these. It is said to be designed to rest at the sixth ‘chakra’, (the ‘ajna’), which not only looks visually appealing, but carries a lot of significance even in terms of Ayurvedic tradition. The ornate pendant that hangs over the forehead may be made of gold, silver or studded with gems such as pearls, rubies, or crystals etc. and it may be flat or spherical. The chain is often studded with rhinestones, and it also may have side panels to lend it a more elaborately intricate look.
More often than not, it acts as a jewelled adaptation of the quintessential ‘bindi’ that gives the face a unique charm. You may choose between a quaint, delicate design or a larger, more detailed one that lets your face capture all the attention! You can also take your pick from coloured gemstones or colour-neutral ones, the former being of limited usage while one with colourless diamonds, crystals or other such stones can be worn with an outfit of any colour, thus expanding its versatility. Maang-tikas look great on all face cuts and shapes, and to the round faces it adds the dimension of length.
Girls and women with shoulder-length hair or more can carry off these beautifully. However, it is important to brush the hair thoroughly to remove all tangles and facilitate the styling. The hair can be tied to a neatly coiled bun or can be left open, according to one’s preference. Different parts of India boast of diverse cultures, and hence, the designs of traditional jewellery also vary, often. For example, the North Indian female population usually wear maang-tikas crafted out of kundan or jadau, while south Indian brides prefer rubies and pearls. Muslim brides often wear triangular, fan-shaped maang-tikas on the side if the hair, and this is usually called ‘jhoomar’. This asymmetrical look goes very well with anarkalis, and it is sure to attract attention.
With changing times however, diamond and platinum has come to acquire a pan-Indian popularity. Maang-tikas do not only highlight the beauty of an Indian bride, but also showcases the inherent sophisticated charm of every Indian woman who’s proud of her aesthetic individuality. They can be worn in different styles in wedding parties or traditional occasions. In short, a maang-tika is sure when to uphold your resplendent beauty and enhance your bejewelled self into a visual extravaganza that’s a delight to behold!