Summary
The Bangle Sellers are introduced at the start of the poem. They are present at the temple fair to make a trade for their bangles. These peddlers enumerate the qualities of their product by using adjectives like delicate, bright, rainbow-tinted circles of light. They urge the onlookers to buy them for their daughters and wives. The sellers are represented in one voice to emphasize that they all have the same goal and purpose. The words ‘lustrous tokens of radiant lives’ give a peek into the Indian culture and the significance that bangles are associated with happiness and prosperity. The second stanza showcases different kinds of bangles the sellers have. Some these bangles are for young unmarried maiden’s wrist. They are coloured silver and blue resembling the mountain mist. Others are pink and light red in colour akin to tender flower buds blossoming near a woodland stream. There are some green coloured bangles, glowing fresh and pure like newborn leaves. This represents the fact that in Indian society, different coloured bangles are worn by women in different phases of their life. The bangles depict the youthful stage in a women’s life.

In the next stanza, the sellers point to the bangles that are coloured like ‘fields of sunlit corn’. They are fit for the grown up woman on her bridal morning. Other bangles are bright red just like the flame of the marriage fire (Hindu bridal ceremony). The red bangles indicate her heart’s desire and passion for her new life as a bride and wife. They are described as ‘tinkling, luminous, tender and clear’. These bangles compare the marriage flame to a bride’s deepest desires. The usage of ‘bridal laughter and bridal tears’ represents both the excitement of a new beginning as a wife and the grief of separation from the parents and home. It points to the transition that a woman makes from a maiden daughter to a wife.

In the final stanza, the bangle seller talks about bangles that are purple and gold-flecked grey. These are perfect for middle-aged women who ‘journeyed through life and raised their children and a family. These women have fulfilled their household duties with pride and commitment and showed devotion to their God with sincere prayers alongside their husbands. The poet extols the qualities of a good wife and mother. The use of the word ‘sons’ in place of ‘children’ may also be a satirical reminder of the accepted reference for a male child in Indian society at that time and age.


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