Of Turmeric and Tint

My mother applied the sacred paste on my cousin's cheeks, carefully maneuvering her arms through the peach dupatta. You see, no amount of expertise can absolve one of the caution required to handle turmeric. The bright yellow stain on your favourite clothes will taunt your overconfidence and the patch around it, faded in defeat, hands over the spotlight.


There was military grade control over every aspect of the wedding but I was concerned that Simpson-skin might just nudge the bride over the brink of insanity. Passed down through centuries of belief, turmeric is applied to calm pre wedding jitters, purify the body, and ward off the evil eye. The colour symbolizes prosperity and is considered very auspicious. This is true testimony to the almost unshakable faith in the health, beauty and spiritual benefits of turmeric.


Having sported the jaundice patient look after a day of enthusiastic self care, I braced myself for the minion of a bride that would emerge from the milk bath, but what I didn't know is that wild turmeric or kasturi manjal is preferred for external use. It provides all the benefits of turmeric without the yellow tinge. So, the haldi ceremony, quite literally, left her in a good mood with a golden glow. 


However, considering that turmeric is one of the most adulterated spices, there is a high chance you might be applying chalk or lead chromate on your skin, while manifesting a clear complexion. The safest way to use haldi would be to slice, dry and powder the roots yourself, but not all of us have the privilege of patience. The next best option is to pick an organic or natural brand so, you can for once, throw caution to the wind and slather on a good old haldi face mask.