She woke up with a thumping heart and eagerly looked around. Looking affectionately at her sister, she remembered the fun she had on the day when her sister was being dressed up. How she had looked at her , in awe, waiting for the day she will be the one to sit infront of that mirror. How she had visualized herself sitting on that stool, with the long braid , all decked up, posing for the photo.She knew she was one of the fairest and prettiest in the family. People told her so. Her father had promised that he will take his favorite daughter to the best studio in the city.
Why is everyone sleeping still? Why is the Sun God delaying his presence till now? Can’t he see that I am anxious to see the day? Can’t he sense my excitement?. Yes, today is my day. The day of moggina jade. Last week, Lalitha had her hair plaited beautifully, adorned with lot of flowers, ornaments all over her head, looking so beautiful. Her moggina jade photo did not do justice to her. I hope mine comes out right.
She didn’t realize that she had fallen asleep again, till she woke up to her mother’s tinkering in the kitchen. Grinning, with the image of her perceived photo, she skipped to the kitchen, to help mother with the burning of the woods for cooking. Mother was busy, but seeing her up so early, smiled with a twinkle in her eye. She laughed out loud, hugged and buried her face in mother’s saree.Mother was sure to deck her up so good. She always had very good taste,knowing the right ornament to choose , the right height for the plait.
I better hurry up and get dressed. Ah! This silk langa ( long skirt) looks so pretty. So what if it is a hand me down. Everyone looks different in the same clothes. This jade feels kind of heavy. Who cares? A little discomfirt for a beautiful photo? All my friends have a moggina jade photo except me.Where is Anna? He said he will be here by 5:00 to take me to the studio. Anna !!
She hopped onto the best studio in the city, holding her father’s hand. Putting one palm over another, she posed for the camera with mingled feeling of satisfaction and elation. Yes, It was her day for Moggine Jade.
PS: The story is fiction, but the photo is not. In fact, I have no clue how mother felt on that day. 🙂
PPS: Wonder what happened to the custom of Moggina Jade photos.