Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Amaravati's Most Wanted

The new Flickr stats device shows that my all-time Most Viewed photo was not my portrait of the Dalai Lama of which I'm so proud, nor even the portrait of my Tamil Muslim friend Mumtaz in the slums of Chennai (though she has quite a following).

It's not even the news photo I snapped of a Tibetan monk being attacked in Kathmandu, which made MSNBC.

It's this photo of a young Telugu lady in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, sporting the traditional south Indian half-sari. So far, she's gotten 7,871 individual views (not including my own). I think the half-sari is also called "skirt and thavani" (thavani being the top part).

In these days of internet porn, there is something very comforting about this. As the jewelry salesman said in
Breakfast at Tiffany's, "Do they still put the ring in the box of Crackerjacks? It gives one a feeling of...solidarity."

My friends Vijay and Teja still live in Amaravati, the town where the 2006 Kalachakra was performed by the Dalai Lama. Maybe they know the name of this young lady.

The occasion for her special dress was Pongal, the south Indian holiday that falls in mid-January. (It just happened to fall that year during the Kalachakra.) Otherwise, it's increasingly rare to see this elegant dress for young "unmarried" ladies.


Jennifer said...

This is one of my favorite South Indian dresses. I believe in Tamil this is Pavadaa Davani (similar to thavani). Her color combination is superb! I had one of these stitched for my wedding reception. The North Indian equivalent is lengha, the difference usually in what I have seen is Lengha has a longer top, where this dress is worn with a sari blouse. In fact the one I had stitched was half pavadaa davani and half lengha as the styling of the skirt and dupetta was same, but top was long like lengha.

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