I had to check the title twice so that I did not end up adding an 'h' somewhere that could result in a vegetable. The whole meaning of the post would have been lost. But, Google has always helped my cause to verify things instantaneously, and here goes the post to convey the right meaning.
Bindi is a symbol anyone from India would be familiar with. In South India, it is referred to as Pottu or Bottu, and since I am from the South, my first reaction would be to associate that tiny dot on a woman's forehead as Pottu. I do not want to write about the religious significance of a bindi since a significant lot has been written about that. I have always wondered how that tiny addition to the forehead of women serves as a nice decorative item. A bindi comes in different sizes and shapes associated with a myriad of decorative features thus answering a big question Why do girls spend hours and hours of their time selecting a bindi?
But today it is different. It is no more cool to sport a bindi, at least, that's what many of them say. Maybe there are hundreds of reasons as to why a girl doesn't like to wear a bindi, but for traditionalists like me, it is unimaginable to see an Indian girl walk around without that tiny piece of sticker adorning her forehead. Be it the most fashionable dress that she wears, it generates a not so good feeling to see her bare forehead. There are some people with whom you cannot cross the line, and so tend to ignore them. But, if you have seen someone sporting a bindi all along, and suddenly, one fine day, you see her devoid of it, you point that out to her. Of course, as I said earlier, you just cannot cross the line.
It is not the question of what exactly a bindi symbolizes, but it is just a feel good factor to see a girl with it. It may not mean anything to anyone around, but the fact that we have grown accustomed to it tells a lot about it. Last week in a restaurant, my friend was quick to point this out to me, "Oh man!! She looks really good with a bindi. It adds so much of a difference to the appearance. Good to see a typical Indian girl here." Naturally, I couldn't agree more. The touch of tradition that the bindi adds to the girl has to be seen to be explained. I remember the times when I used to end up watching television shows with my mother by my side, "Ma, this girl is so beautiful. Isn't she?" She would immediately retort, "Oh! What's the point! She doesn't even wear a pottu. She would look like a doll if she wore one." I would immediately say "What's wrong if she doesn't wear the pottu?" Without conceding defeat, she would say Indians are supposed to wear a pottu, dwelling into the religious significane of the pottu, by which time, I would have changed a hundred different channels hoping that my mother would change the topic quickly. Invariably, she was left with no choice with a muted listener. But, now, it clearly makes sense!
T-shirts, Jeans and a pottu is definitely appealing (according to me, in my opinion; before somebody argues with me on this point!). Change that to a traditional Indian wear like a saree or Churidhar with a pottu; Man, that is quite a deadly combination!!!