Friday, November 29, 2019

Handkerchief !

There  lived  two  girls  back  in  my  village .They  were  fast  friends . One  of  hem  was  utterly  beautiful  and  other  was   with  ordinary  features .Going  to  grab  water  from  tube  well , picking  hay  from  fields , fetching  woods  for  stove or attending   ceremonies they  would  do  everything  together .

Many  would  envy  their  friendship .Some  were  Jealous of it.But  they did  not  care  about  anyone  and were  happy  to  have  each  other as   best  friends . There  were  no  secrets  among  them .

One  day  a  young  man  came  to  village  .He  started  to  work  on  stone  crushing machine and  lived  in village  across  the  stream . Stream  was  source of  great  pleasure and ease for  all  the  villagers as  well as  for  workers  from  crushing  machine. Workers  would  come  to  stream  to  bath  and  wash  their  clothes  as  living  away  from  home  made  them  to  wash  their  clothing  by themselves .

Stone  crushing  machines  were  near  the  bridge . Ladies  of  the  village  would  go  to  the  stream to  bath  and  wash  clothes  everyday. But  they  would   use  part  of  stream  which  was almost   in the middle  of  the  village  and  quite  far  away  from  bridge.No  worker  had  courage  to  go  to  side  where  there was  any  possibility   of  being  women  of  village  around .

I   was  less than  ten  years  then. One  of  those  close  friend  was  my  cousin .She  might  have been  almost  16 or 17   years  old  ,same  age  was  her  friend. 

One  day  we  heard  that  both  friends   had  arguments  and  broke  up  forever. It  was  unbelievable  and  shocking  to  know  for  all . I  knew  in  coming  years gradually  their  story.

They  both ( ONE BY ONE )had  fall  in  love  with  that  same  boy  from  the  upper  mountains .One  day  when one of  them  went  alone  to  bring  water ,she  saw  that  ,that  boy  was  running  along  the  edge  of  water  across  the  stream.She  was  impress with   his  masculine  charm at  first  sight . She  saw  that  he  was  trying  to  chase  his  towel  which  was  flowing  in  the  stream  quickly   and  was  heading  to  lower  part  of  village  where  strangers  were  not  allowed.

She  picked  up  her  water pot  and  left   as  she  could  not  afford  taking   risk  of  being  seen  by  any  villager  or  her  own  male  family  member   and  scold  her .Though  had  hided  behind   a tree  trunk ,watched  the  young man  grabbing his  towel  . When  she   returned  and told  her  story  to  her  best  friend ,her  friend  seemed  surprised  but calm.

Months  passed , One  who  had  started  to  like the  young man  was  in serious  relationship and  wanted  to  marry  him.She  would  talk  to  the  boy  in  sign language who  would  stand  across  the  stream  within  bushy  area so  no man  from  village  could see  him.

One  fine  day  when  everybody  was  busy  to   attend  a  wedding  ceremony  ,she  met   with  boy .For  the  first  time  they  were  meeting  as  closely . He  swum  to  this  edge  to  meet  her though  it  was  risky and  could  cause  threat  to  his  life.

While  talking  about  their  future  girl  noticed  a  handkerchief  in the  pocket  of  his  jacket .She  pulled  it  out  immediately  and  was  stunned  to  see  that  the  handkerchief   was  one  that  carved  her  best  friend  with  embroidery .

She  asked  him  anxiously  but  he could  not  reply  satisfactorily .She  returned  home  broken  heart .She  thought  that  the  boy  was  fooling  her  and  was  playing  with  both  friends.She  remained  silent  though  and  checked  on  her  friend. She  could  not  trace  her  meeting  with  that  boy. Finally  they   had  arguments   and  broke up.

I  don't  know  true  or  false  but people  of the  village  assumed  that   she some  how  managed  to  make  that  boy  have  her  handkerchief , just  to  create  doubt  among  them  and spoil  their  relationship.If  it  was  true ,she  had achieved  her  aim  because  her  friend  left  that  boy  completely  who  tried  hard  to  convince   her  that  he does not  know  how  that  handkerchief  reached  in  his  jacket. Now  i  can only  guess  that  she  had  used  some  kid  to  make  it  happen.

I  guessed  it  because  i  grew  up  in  village  where  handkerchief  had  so  much  value  in  expressing  emotions  of  loved  ones to  each  other. Women  in  spare  time  would  do  most  elegant  embroidery  on  plane  handkerchief  and  gift  to  their  loved  ones ,Sisters  would  give  to  brothers ,moms to  sons  and  husbands and  young  girls  to  their lovers  secretly .They  would  give  it  to  some  kid  and  ask  him or her  to  give  it  to  one  who  they  loved.

hand carved handkerchief  were  embellished with  pretty  flowers ,birds  and name of  taker  and  pray  or  love  expressions as  sentence! (image by Needle n thread)

Handkerchief   back  then  was  not  to  clean  face  or  nose  but  to  stare  and remember  your  loved  one. They  were  long  lasting  symbol  of divine  love .I  remember  my Nana(grandpa) had  one  of the  oldest  handkerchief  and  would  say  to  grandma  when  they  would  argue over  something  "are   you same  who  had  given  me  this once"

During  wedding  ceremonies  young  boys  would  warp  handkerchief  to  their  hands  proudly  and  would  dance enthusiastically .Girls  who  made  those would  glow  with  shyness and  love . 

Toady  we  use  tissues, delicate  and  disposable .And  our  relationships  have  become  almost  like them .


  1. This was a beautiful story. Your Grandpa still having the handkerchief that your Grandma gave him, was a wonderful reminder for each of them of the love they share.

  2. You have a wonderful way of telling a story Baili. Too bad the handkerchiefs have been replaced by tissue. Does anyone make them anymore? The picture of the one that you posted was impressive.

  3. You write such good stories, this one sounds true.

  4. Such an interesting story, and incite to your culture, and the final sentence the perfect conclusion.

  5. When I was a little girl, we used to have beautifully embroidered handkerchiefs like those. But they did not have the "love significance" of handkerchiefs in your story.

  6. I love the chiding of your grandpa to your grandmother. It makes me think of family and the bond between married folks. Interesting story Baili. And, yes it does seem like people are not as loyal to one another today. Or perhaps, we have been loyal and we are older and have slowed down to notice many don't share that feeling.

    1. dear Ann
      thank you for kind visit and words once in while ,i really appreciate this ,i could not find your blog though :(

  7. Beautiful handkerchief image and the story as well. This story remind me to my beautiful auntie, she loved and collected a lot handkerchiefs, and I believed that there was a story in every single handkerchief.

    Have a great weekend.

  8. It's so interesting to learn of the significance of handkerchiefs in your culture, baili. I had no idea of this practice before reading your post. I'm glad you share stories like this; they help me become more familiar with a part of our world I would otherwise not know at all. Lovely post, although it is sad that the friendship of the two girls did not withstand the events that drove them apart. I think that is probably a universal story, one that happens around the world -- two friends in love with the same man and through bad luck or wrong actions are estranged forever.

  9. The handkerchief in the picture is exquisite. I used to embroider when I was very young but I never created anything as lovely as that.

  10. How interesting to read about the two girls, what a pity they don't speak, I presume they still don't.
    The hanky is beautiful and I recall doing work like that on white handkerchief when I was very young.
    You are right about some relationships of today being like the tissue.

  11. Oh sad that those two best friends no longer communicate. I wonder who is telling the truth...the friend, or the boy?
    Isn't it rather sad how so many friendships break up over a man...I have witnessed this kind of thing happening so many times throughout my life.🙁
    Gosh, what a delightful tradition...the giving of a handkerchief to express love! It kind of reminds me of the the Knights here in the middle ages, who used to wear the colours of the lady they championed in the jousting tournaments.
    Oh if only we hadn't lost those romantic, men no longer even open doors for us, but let them slam in our faces! Lol
    Still, I think perhaps that is due to the movement of "girl power" that has grown out of all proportion!😕
    I absolutely agree with what you say about relationships being like the tissue today...all seem so disposable...after 40 years of marriage, my hubby and I are considered a bit of an oddity here!!

    Have a magical day...

    All my love and hugs ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  12. What a beautiful handkerchief! I would never blow my nose on it.
    As you say: "Toady we use tissues, delicate and disposable .And our relationships have become almost like them." Very sad.

  13. What a lovely story. How sweet that the handkerchief represents love and sentiment from someone who cares for another.

  14. What a beautiful insight to the origin of the handkerchief Baili. You are truly gifted in your unique thoughts, thank you for sharing.
    I loved what your Grandpa would say to your Nana - such a sweet way of looking at a situation.
    You're so right in your conclusions too xx

  15. I love those handmade handkerchiefs
    Have a great week

  16. Dear Baili - You are a good story teller weaving stories from your memory. I love the embroidery in the photo. I learned what a handmade handkerchief means in your culture. Embroideris must have been stitched one by one with love and affection. The last sentences are so powerful. Ironically stunning finish of the story.


  17. Um lenço como prova de amor... Uma história linda e muito bem contada.
    Uma boa semana.
    Um beijo.

  18. Such a beautiful story, what a joy to read! Love anything handmade and the flowers look so so pretty! Have a lovely week☺☺

  19. Your stories are so wonderful. I hope you are well, sweet friend. xo

  20. Thank you for sharing this story.
    The handkerchief in the picture is quite beautiful.
    I can remember many years ago all family members had cotton handkerchiefs and yes, some of them were beautifully made.
    Of course these days we too use tissues …

    All the best Jan

  21. So beautiful. I love that a simple, everyday object has meaning and power. I have a small pile of handkerchiefs embroidered by my grandmothers, they are among my treasures.

  22. I love how you share the stories of your life. This one was wonderful (except for the friends breaking up part) about the meaning of the handkerchief in your culture. I learn so much from you and appreciate what you share.

  23. Oh Baili, I enjoyed your story so. I feel bad for the friend who lost the boy she likes. And sometimes people try to separate loved ones from each other. That happens in life, and I think it's sad. I didn't know what the handkerchief meant in your village, and it's so interesting to hear about. You found one with red flowers, so I smiled when I saw the picture. The embroidery is exquisite on there, and it sounds like they are meant to show someone how fond they are for them. An expression of love.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely story, Baili.


  24. I love when you share your village stories, Baili! Young love stirs a range of powerful emotions that are hard to contain. The tradition of the handkerchief in your village is poignant and sweet. Your description of the boys dancing and the girls glowing reminded me of the shy sweetness of first love. I had to laugh at your grandpa's comment to your grandma. Long term marriages among my relatives were always fun to observe. When I was a small girl, I used to think that older people were old and had no fun. Then I found out how wrong I was ~ LOL Stunning last sentence, Baili! So much has become disposable in our lives, especially relationships. I hope that you have enjoyed a happy weekend together with your family!

  25. What a lovely but rather sad insight into old village life. I had no idea handkerchiefs were viewed like this by young people, but I suppose really the hanky was a keepsake or memento. In England people used to give each other locks of their own hair.

  26. A sad story about the two friends. I enjoyed reading about the significance of handkerchiefs in your culture.


Protected by Copyscape DMCA Copyright Protection