Carrying an ocean of secrets

One of their most cherished possessions, a purse can reveal a lot about a woman, finds Jaydeep Ghosh.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Jul 18, 2007 04:04 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | ByJaydeep Ghosh, New Delhi

Keys, tissues, vaseline, sunglasses, batteries, Paracetamol, sewing kit, rescue remedy.. Ever wondered why women feels incomplete without a handbag stuffed with items 'just in case', but men can cope with a pocket or two.

From tiny rucksacks through sequinned glamour bags to big mummy handbags, it's very rare to see a woman without one.

Men, on the other hand, seem to get away with carrying very little clutter on them.


The word purse is originally derived from the Latin bursa.

Purses carried by men are termed a murse or manbag (portmanteaus "man" with "purse" and "handbag" respectively).

It can also be called a man-purse.

Coin purses are small purses, just large enough to hold money and cards.

A medium-to-small-sized purse with a short handle, designed to be carried (clutched) in one's hand is often called a clutch.

A larger purse with two handles is often called a tote.

What's inside?

We asked around some ladies what they carry round with them on a daily basis.

The answers were very revealing. Every woman we asked carried a handbag just about everywhere.

Here is what fashion designer Puja Nayyar with a penchant for handbags carries in them - "mobile phone, credit card folder, a bestseller, a little sketch pad and some 'can't do without' things' for women."

Model Sucharita Sharma says, "I carry my cellphone, wet tissues to clean hands, dry pocket tissues, mini diary with list of 'things-to-do', pen, mini perfume and mini handereme, house keys, pictures of family and friend, chapstick, lipstick and oh yeah, mints."

"That's a lot actually" You bet!

Do they need it all?
These women claim to use everything, but we really doubt that - how often do you actually need sunglasses and an umbrella on the same day?

Are women really frequented by emergency situations?

Do they really need to carry around Handyplast and Paracetamol every single day, just in case they get a bad cut or a bad head?

We think if more women leave their bags at home, even just occasionally they'll be less stressed about their bag being left behind or snatched.

We suggested and Sucharita took up the challenge.

Here what she says, "I popped to the cafe for lunch from work the other day and left my bag locked in my desk although I felt a bit lost at first, it was nice not to have to worry about where it was if I got deep into conversation, knowing that my wallet and keys were in my pocket!"

Close Story
Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 25, 2022