You’re a long-term traveler when your underwear mutates to various lifeless shades of grey and beige. The excitement of laundry day, getting back fresh, semi-clean clothes is the highlight of any travelers day!
But imagine taking that laundry day excitement and multiplying it by 10, when I realised that an hour drive away is a good old British institution, Marks and Spencer, with new underwear.
It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve washed or soaked said underwear, I still end up sporting the latest fashion of murky tones. Bras after 48 hours soaking in strong detergent proved unsuccessful, so you can understand my overwhelming joy at the prospect of new, clean underwear.
So, armed with a selection of black, pink and coffee-coloured underwear, it is out with the offensive and in with the new clean items of pure delight.
India has many many rituals, ranging from the strange to the outright dangerous, but I couldn’t find one for the sacrifice of disgusting coloured bras, funnily enough! For a split second I did think that I really shouldn’t just throw them away, as I could donate them, but seriously that would just been down-right rude.
Now I’m not about to start another bra burning feminist movement, but I can think of no better way to say ‘good-bye’ to my trusty, grubby friends. So let the burning commence.
A small range of India’s unusual rituals found on Google:
Walking on fire; Originating in Tamil Nadu, the practice of Theemithi is part of a larger ceremony. The festival of Theemithi is a celebration of Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas. After the Battle of Kurukshetra, Draupadi walked across a bed of fire and emerged unscathed. Theemithi is a re-enactment of the same, and is believed to grant a wish or blessing by the goddess.
Baby tossing; Practised in India for years by both, Hindus and Muslims. At Baba Umer Dargah, Maharashtra, babies are dropped from a height of approx. 50 feet, and caught in a sheet held by waiting men. A similar custom is observed at the Sri Santeswar temple near Indi, in the state of Karnataka. This ritual has been followed for over 700 years and is believed to bring prosperity to the family (and probably give heart attacks to the weak!).
Hanging by hooks; This ‘art form’ performed in Kerala’s Kali temples is as captivating as it is toe-curling. Dancers dress up as Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu who quenched the goddess Kali’s thirst with blood after slaying Darika the demon. After a dance performance, they hang like eagles (Garudan Thookam) from a pole, by hooking the flesh on their backs! These hanging ‘ Garudas ‘ are paraded around the city. This ritual is carried out on Makara Bharani Day and Kumbha Bharani Day.
Safe to say disposing of my grubby underwear seems pale in comparison – Gotta love India 🙂
Image size for one of my bras would be too large and probably crash my site! So instead here is a beautiful pic of Irfan, a cute local boy that I have been teaching English and swimming to.