Wedding- Ankita and Kaushik
May your married life be fulfilled with laughter
And you love and cherish each other forever after! Happy wedding!
This one is for you Anku baby<3
Weddings in India have always been grandiose and flamboyant with the rituals and festivities lasting for a week. Punjabi weddings for the most part are crazy/fun/colour/bling/dance/beauty/belles/cocktails/all night and murgi (chicken). My elder daughter, (from another mother) Ankita, got married last week and it was a very emotional on one level but a whole lot of fun on the other. In weddings during my time the bride and groom used to be silent spectators, sitting on their thrones in their wedding finery but things have now changed and the trendy youngsters (bride and groom) lead the celebrations by shaking a leg to the latest Bollywood numbers.
Ankita resides in Australia and came to India only a few days before her big day and started her trousseau shopping as soon as she landed. Her mom Bindiya has been a close buddy since 31 years; hence, it was like a wedding in the family. Anju Berry, kick-started the wedding festivities by her customary lunch. It was a surprise for Ankita and she walked in with her mouth agape! The food was delectable and we all drooled over the spread. Soup and Starters, Glass noodles and curry, veg bake and of course, the dessert! It was a great get-together of fun and laughter, sharing anecdotes of Ankita as a kid. Rhea, Ankita’s baby sister went berserk with the camera and we all fell in line to her instructions.
For the Sangeet or Mehendi night, we had a few practice sessions, one in my house, and another in Tanu’s while the last was at the venue itself. Where ever there are Panju’s there has to be food fun and music. We enjoyed the practice sessions too by pulling each other’s legs and pointing out the two left feet of those who couldn’t dance but still tried to.
My daughter flew down for the ceremony as she and Ankita were chaddi-buddies.Then came the night of the Sangeet; when we all trooped in swathed in silks and bling outfits with jewellery to match. The stage was set for a pulsating and energetic evening.The room was decorated well, there was a selfie booth with all sorts of crazy accessories and a Henna corner to colour your palms with this temporary tattoo. I was the Emcee for the evening, but I preferred to speak from a dark corner. The bride and groom Kaushik made a grand entry with the dhol and after the customary hi’s and hello’s, I announced the start of the evenings show. The dances traced how the boy and girl met, how they fell in love, how he proposed and lastly how the wedding was set with the consent of both their families. The dances went on amidst lots of cheering and applause by the family and friends. The party went on till late night as the DJ kept playing foot-tapping numbers.
In Indian weddings, Haldi or turmeric plays a major role and it has a ceremony to its name. It is mixed with rosewater or milk and sandalwood powder. This paste is applied to the bride amidst singing and dancing. When beauty treatments and parlours were not available, Indians had their own natural beauty secrets to ensure that the bride looked radiant and wonderful on her wedding day. Haldi is known to have properties that leave the skin fair and glowing. It is also a good exfoliating agent and once the haldi is washed off it rids the skin of dead cells and detoxifies the skin, leaving it glowing. Don’t know how far this is true but from what I have seen, all brides have a special glow on their wedding day. The next morning or day of the wedding, most of us wore yellow dresses like the bride to be and smeared the paste on Ankita, one by one amidst lots of ribbing and giggling.
The wedding was in the night and Ankita looked resplendent in her bright red saree and dazzling jewellery. She was as radiant as ever and was glowing like a beacon. Kaushik looked dapper and handsome and they made a perfect couple. The wedding was according to South Indian customs and the rituals went on till 3 am in the night. The bride was carried to the stage by her uncles in a basket.Between the rituals they had to change their dresses and there were lighter moments where they had to pour rice and petals over each other, stamp toes and hunt for a ring in a container of water. Once the wedding was over the bride and groom were blessed by all present and wished a wonderful life ahead. Tired and exhausted we trooped back home.
My dear Anku -Wishing you all the good things that togetherness brings into life.
May your marriage be filled with delight and happy moments!
Today you start this new journey in your life,
Let it be fantastic, crazy, wonderful, unbelievable and unforgettable!