My grandparents came from the villages around Kumbakonam but lived most of their adult lives in Maharashtra and Bihar. My great grandparents had a house in Tiruvidaimarudur, they moved here in the 1950s from . Given their long lives, we visited them a few times as children. I went back for a brief visit after many many years. It refreshed my memory and I added new ones and came away with my heart and mind full of the images of Kumbakonam, despite a later visit to Goa.
A few pics of the girls and women in and around Kumbakonam. 1: A fresco at the Darasuram temple, this temple was astonishingly beautiful and I was a little surprised to find that a number of frescoes feature larger women; 2: Also at the Darasuram temple, a dressed idol of Vishnu Durgai: 3 & 4: A handloom nine yard sari and mill made polyester six yard sari on older and younger members of my family 5 & 6: Aruljyoti in the morning on her way to work 7: A man’s shirt worn over a sari on Andhra immigrants. Commonly worn by women who work in the fields or do manual labour in the state as far as I can see 8 & 9: Salwar kurtas on girls at the river – this has replaced the pavadai and the half saree for young unmarried women in all but the more conservative families. The convenience of hooking safety pins to a chain/beads remains:) 10& 11: Tinsel and Sequins are the new black of India, it is fairly common in rural Tamil Nadu on young girls as well as older women 12: This pushy young girl got about 20 pictures taken of herself with a friend. Her puff sleeves rival Anne Shirley’s.