The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Extremely revered and auspicious symbol of Hindu marriage. Comprises a little gold pendant strung on a thread, a gold chain or strings of black beads. Married women are required to wear it as long as their husbands live- not the other way round. One way of typecasting a woman as 'traditional' or traditional with modern outlook or 'modern' or 'post-modern' would be to inspect closely the nature of her relationship with the mangal sutra.
The mangal sutra is a very central artefact in saas bahu serials where the perennially suffering Bahu, in moments of utmost remorse and frustration, breaks and flings it while the her husband and mother-in-law look on in shock. The camera plays up the tenshan and drama by zooming in and out wildly on the intense facial expressions and fallen mangal sutra.


(Conversation between Paati & Meenakshi Mami at her granddaughter's wedding)
Paati: What and all we had to do to get awar Soumya to have that ceremony.. that girl was refusing to wear it (the mangal sutra) unless and until her husband also wears it!
Meenakshi Mami: Kadavule! then how you convince her?
Paati (calmly): I threatened with soocide, so she agreed.
Added 2011-08-19 by Kochu kalli




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kum-kum, MARRAGE over??, missus

Terms referencing this

Thaali, toe-ring