“There’s much more besides bangles in Laad Bazaar,” says jewellery designer Suhani Pittie
Decades before Hyderabad became an important hub of business activity, the bangle market was so famous that tourists would especially visit the area. ‘Laad’ literally means to pamper, and Laad Bazaar lives up to its name even today! The bangle industry involves women painstakingly encrusting colourful stones and crystals into the mixture of resins- non toxic and non allergic. It is said that women create these beautiful bangles in between their household chores.
The finish and pattern have evolved greatly over the years. Sometimes designs are quickly grasped and recreated from mosaic and stained-glass patterns of buildings. A little tweak to an existing pattern and one would have a new heirloom for a really small price. I had once enquired if they could imitate a pattern I had drawn. The answer was “Kya saab –hum ye hee kyon, aap ka chitra bhi bana sakte hain”( Why a pattern, we can sketch your face with the crystals)”. With easy imports the quality of crystals has greatly improved. Glass crystals cut into interesting shapes and a variety of new season’s colours have made the Hyderabadi bangle an important fashion accessory. The old traditional patterns phasing out into absolutely to die for designs are truly coveted.
The discerning client has a wide price range to choose from. Of course, you will be paying more if it’s obvious that you are not from Hyderabad and also if you discuss having seen them in London shops. Add another zero then. These bangles have found prestigious spots in some important shops worldwide. Even at Indian weddings, they are laid out at times for guests to wear and take home. Laad Bazaar is so resourceful and characteristic and there’s much more besides the bangles. There are shops laden with zari borders and laces, mehendi, surma and sequins and glitter. ‘Parandi’ or tassle ended strands that are worn with the plait, carts selling combs and nail enamels, hairclips and even pyjama drawstrings can also be found here. The diversity that one can see in this one lane is mind numbing and symbolises Hyderabad in a quaint sort of way.
The writer is a jewellery designer
THE DIVERSITY THAT ONE CAN SEE IN THIS LANE IS MIND NUMBING AND SYMBOLISES HYDERABAD