They say that the eyes of a woman have a story to tell. But in these times, where the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays are taken rather seriously, and the windows to a woman's soul are concealed under a trendy pair of Burberry glasses, her handbag might be your next best hope of discovering her true persona.
This is no fashion guide. I am not endorsing long-strapped bags, satchels or purses with fringes. There will be no debate about neon-coloured bags versus the basic, sober variety. This is going to be something deep. Deeper than the pockets of a generous husband who gifts his beloved, err wife, a Lady Dior purse!
To begin with, a college-going girl can be easily spotted in a crowd. She will be seen with a handy, single-strapped bag carelessly hung over the shoulder, just big enough to fit in a few books, some stationery and a hastily packed sandwich.
The journalists or intellectuals are synonymous with their famed 'jholas' made of either cotton, silk or jute. These sacks are incomplete without a thermos of chai, a packet of organic biscuits and a pen and writing pad, of course.
Corporate executives are mostly seen carrying a no-nonsense leather bag with enough pockets to fit in a phone, calculator and pen. They rarely experiment with colours, sticking mostly to charcoal blacks and subdued browns.
Then there is a category of women who are conspicuous because of the humongous bag they carry. This variety is called a mother, specifically a 'nouveau mom'. She will carry with her everything under the sun. With her stash of baby wipes, sanitizers, squeaky toys, sweet treats and dozen bananas, the 'nouveau mom' is prepared to handle any crisis the baby throws at her. So, the next time you catch sight of a lady with a mammoth bag, be sure her progeny is around somewhere.
Then there are senior citizens (aka grandmothers) who carry handy, but well-pocketed purses, with hefty notes of cash stashed in secret chambers. They are also likely to carry with them a pouch of medicines for every ache, sneeze and cough.
When you see a woman sporting a miniature, swanky purse just big enough to fit in a lipstick, some emergency cash and keys, you know she is geared to dance the night away without a care in the world. Then there are designer bags, flaunted by the crème de la crème and the wannabe who's who of society. Whether it's a social get-together or a visit to the mandi, socialites refuse to step out without their designer labels!
Whether it's a social get-together or a visit to the mandi, socialites refuse to step out without their designer labels!
But there is another kind of baggage we women deal with, but cannot flaunt--the emotional kind. We pull it along, lugging with us hoards of memories, some bitterness, a little pain and lots of lessons. This kind of baggage is hard to decipher and mankind is yet to discover the key to finding it.
While you mull over this latest 'woman-decoder' tool, my toddler and I are getting ready to go shopping. The three-year-old wears her bunny-shaped pouch as I fill it with coins for her. Off she sashays down the stairs, jingling away--carrying the first purse of her life with élan!
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