Remember headbands? Almost every teen heartthrob back in the 80s sported one. Whether it was Poonam Dhillon with a striped one strapped to her forehead , two long plaits dangling by the sides.  She’d be wearing a track suit and seemed to be all set for a morning jog, but all she’d do is chase Kumar Gaurav who’d be singing a song that had been especially composed to best leverage the entire set of two expressions that he owned.

Then, there was Reena Roy wearing glittering headbands, sequinned and stamped. A Greek goddess meets bar dancer kind of version. This look would be the cue for the audience that a dance competition was going to take place shortly. Depending on the hero’s dance acumen (usually, ranging from ghastly to average), the side-kick would have to peg his output a few notches below that. The audience would now want a headband over their eyes.

Then, there were the tribal headbands made popular by Meenakshi Seshadri. She’d rob a jewellery store before coming to the movie set – adorned in necklaces that hung low reaching the thighs, earrings the size of excavation equipment and headbands made of coins/bells/teeth of extinct animals.  Maybe, the trick was to blind the hero with all that bling so that he had no idea what he was saying ‘yes’ to. I heard recently, that she relocated to the U.S. Haaah – I knew it! How long could she have gotten away with those jewellery heists?

As a kid, I badly wanted a headband. It was an object of lust. Like perhaps an iPhone 7 is today (unless there is another version before I click ‘save’ on this post).  My prayers went unanswered for a long, long time. I felt hopeless. I even doubted that there was a God.

Then, one day, I found that my sister had forgotten to lock her cupboard. There it sat – the red-white-blue headband. Was this was really happening? I picked it.  My heart was pounding.

It had to happen fast. Before she finished taking her shower. Happy bells pealed in the air. Birds chirped and the golden sunshine anointed me as I stepped into the garden. Jeans, sweater to match, and the HEADBAND strapped to my forehead. Rishi Kapoor would have been proud.

As that decade got over, so did the obsession with hair bands. I, no longer, spotted this accessory on our heroines. Maybe, they used the material saved from those for their tiny costumes.