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PAGDI,SAFA:INTRODUCTION AND SIGNIFICANCE Pagdi and saafa , form of male headgear , are also Known popularly as Baana, Fenta, Paag, Pecha etc. They have a very old history . in India putting on Pagdi and Saafa has been in vogue since antiquity . It was part of social etiquette for males to keep their heads covered . Gradually Pagdi came to symbolize a person’s stature , grandeur and honour . To begin with, use of colors for Pagdis was not popular, hence they were either of white or of saffron hue . Since saffron stood for value and bravery, a Rajput with a saffron baana was not supposed to either bow before anything or utter anything untenable . While going for battle a warrior would put on saffron headgear which mean that he would either return victorious or attain glory by sacrificing his life . A person who went down fighting was said to have “Donned Saffron” . This posthumous title was the ultimate reward for a warrior . Decked in saffron a Rajput fighter would prove superior to ten attackers simultaneously . Saffron encapsulate an indomitable spirit, valour, love for justice, confidence and unflagging self-esteem . In old days a Pagdi was dyed in saffron color by using a mixture of turmeric and flower of the flame of the forest (dhaak) . This made the Pagdi of special use in battel – when the soldier got wounded, it became readily available medicated bandage . A saffron colored Pagdi was also the favourite headgear of a bridegroom . this groom would not return a bachelor . Come what may, he’d come with his bride only . The pride of warriors Maharana Pratap could lead his small band of Rajput in a sustained war against the mighty Moughal emperor Akbar because he knew that he was the custodian of the honour vested in the saffron Pagdi, Akbar, the superb strategist, feared the fury girdled in the saffron turban . Maharana Pratap not for once ever bowed down before Akbar, and it remained Akbar’s sore wish till his end . Today very few people are aware of the tune meaning of the saffron Baana . Saffron color represents not only vigour and valour, it is of religious importance also . Flags atop temples ever today are of saffron color . In days of your several ways of tying the Pagdi and Saafa were prevalent . The way a turban was donned revealed a person’s caste and category . Two rulers when they took vows of friendship did so by exchanging their turbans . When science did not occupy the place in human life as it does today, then the Pagdi provided people the same security as a helmet gives today . Furthermore, it had several other uses too . It helped in saving a drowning person, was used as a rope e.g. in drawing water from a wall . At times it could be used as a weapon too, like an empty-handed person could make a projectile out of a stone by swinging it around with the help of his turban . Pagdi works as a safety device for the head in all sorts of weather . If in summers it saves the head from singeing heat, in winters it acts as an effective shield against drafts of chilling cold . A mind in a turbaned head never loses its composure . This was the sole reason why people of the golden generation had a brain sharpen than the computer, with which they could make even complex calculation immaculately and that too in minimal time without the use of stationery . Their memory also used to be sharp . A Pagdi has a length of 16, 18 or 21 meters, its breadth being 09 inches . Breadth of a Saafa on the other hand is 01 to 1.25 meters, its length normally being ten yards ( 09 meters ) . Besides some Saafa can be 12 to 16 meters long as well , Use of Saafa or Pagdi during social or religious engagements was a must in the past as it is so in present time too . Even hitherto for anyone entering a temple, mosque or gurudwara, covering of the head is a requirement . This stands good for performing religious rituals like pooja, havan ets. Even now some socio-cultural customs and ritual can’t be undertaken with an exposed head . In other words, Pagdi hasn’t lost any of its golden sheen even in the present era of stark living – Pagdi remains relevant from birth to one’s end . On the passing away of the head of a family, there is a Pagdi Ceremony at the end of twelve days of mourning . The next head is given social sancitity through a public ceremony in which the community provides him a while Pagdi . It is a marker of his social acceptance as the new head of the family , as well as an indication of his accepting the role and responsibilities in all somberness . Even though wearing of Pagdi as an attire of daily use has become less widespread in today’s lifestyle, yet it retains its customary significance . Even today a Pagdi bestows grace and grandeur to its wearer . Agroom on his wedding day is not only decked in a resplendent Pagdi, but the appeal of his head-dress is yet more enhanced by decorating it with a variety of jewels . This turban provides his the distinct identity of being the day’s sovereign . Relatives of both the bride and the groom also put on turbans of catchy hues . The present age has taken to celebration of life through a proliferation of colors . According Pagdi has also reinvented itself through experimentation and adoption of multiple hues . Pagdis in rainbow combination are the order of the day . Thus the ubiquitous turban while retaining its pre-eminence in social and religious ceremonies, has created a fresh niches and a new horizontal existence for itself across social spectrum through modifications and adoption of exotic color combinations . It continues to deck our heads, rule our hearts and above all bestow a mesmerizing aura to our persons . Mahendra Singh Parihar ( Mob. = 9460084277 )