Alta,a red dye:
There were days when marriages were incomplete without this bright red dyed feet and hands.And those post wedding ceremonies,where bride enters her in-laws place for the first time stepping into alta ,leaving a trail of her footsteps.Though mehendi or henna has taken the role of Alta but you can never ignore the beauty of Alta clad feet.
When we are in a time and era when you say ‘organic’ it just takes up the value of the product to ten folds.What can be more organic than betel leaves.Traditionally betel leaves were used to make Alta and slowly it got replaced with vermilion and then lac…There is a chemical made version of the same available as well in market .I feel sad when consumerism takes up the aesthetic of an age of practice.
Alta,for me symbolizes simplicity and vibrancy…Simplicity because of it’s ease in application which doesn’t need any artistic skills and vibrant as it clearly adds to your beauty.And let’s not forget it’s cultural significance.Red has always been a color symbolic of purity, fertility and prosperity in Indian tradition and so is alta.
According to Hindu Mythology, the images and sculptures of the Goddesses, Durga,Laxmi,Saraswati is painted with Alta.Lord Krishna seen applying Alta on to his beloved Radha’s feet,what a sight!!!
Solah Shringar(16 Bridal Adornments):
Ancient Vedic texts mention Solah Shringar which encompasses sixteen basic steps of beautification of a woman from head to toe. Shringar comprise the bindi, necklaces, earrings, flowers in the hair, finger rings, bangles, armlets, waistbands, ankle-bells, kajal, toe-rings and a part of it is application of Alta.
One thing I adore about our tradition is most of them are backed by science and so is application of this red dye in feet and hands.It cools body heat and helps in avoiding skin diseases!Ain’t it enough to incorporate alta to our beautification regime.
Absolutely alta is loosing it’s significance.Let’s not keep it as a shringar of classical dance forms only.Let’s bring this red beauty into our life …
Hi! I am Anushree Dash…
1 Part Entrepreneur
2 Parts Writer
3 Parts Social reformer
4 Parts explorer
5 Parts photographer, Too many Parts.
A free-spirited,non-conformist,,impenitent,independent,adventurous,boho soul and an admirer of life. Loves my Indian roots, Culture, Aesthetic Living, Saree, Poetry …