Monsoon Wedding Of my Son
The other day when I blogged about my friend’s daughter’s wedding, I remembered that I had jotted down my son’s wedding notes too. I thought I should blog that too before I lost it. My son got married on July 2nd 2011 and it is the monsoon time in south India. My son’s wedding was something I had always dreamt of. If my husband had been alive, it would have been a ten-day affair with all the packaging of a big fat Indian wedding. He wasn’t there and it wasn’t so. I too wanted to have a grand wedding but couldn’t afford one. I always thought money could make everything grand and wonderful. But I was proved wrong and I am really glad the wedding was a small, warm and loving one with the maximum participation of all my family members and friends.
My nieces need special mention as they were more excited than I was. My shopping in Delhi would never have been complete without their help.Thank you, Kiran and Sonya( my precious nieces). Sahiba, (my prettiest niece) and her penchant for event management gave us a royal purple theme for the reception. Karina, my Mexican Daughter-in-law chose a purple Lehenga (long skirt) and Esha, my daughter had a purple lehenga sari already and both of them bullied me into buying a red lehenga which was far beyond my imagination!!
My delightful nieces…..each one a gem ❤
Delhi is surely a shopper’s paradise suited for every pocket and it was time to scour the markets with a fine toothcomb. The rain or the heat didn’t dampen our spirits and the lemon sodas and mo-mo kept our thirst and appetites satiated.
I had planned for a small traditional wedding ceremony and a reception in the evening. But Sahiba’s idea was to have Mehendi and dhol (large drum) at home the previous night and I acquiesced. Little did I know what I had let myself into!! It just blew out of proportion…from a small get together at home to a full-fledged DJ and dhol party at Raynah Gardens. Last minute jitters, was arranging for a cook…They were charging exorbitantly and God bless Sahiba for finding a cook at the last minute; though he was no cordon bleu chef!
The guests started to arrive and my humble home hustled and bustled with so much colour and joyful sounds after so many years. My sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews had been excited about the wedding since months. I didn’t book any fancy suites in hotels for any of them and there was no murmur of protest as everybody made themselves comfortable anywhere and everywhere in the house.
The dholak( drum) was brought and the practice sessions were in full swing but those dances never materialized as everyone just did their own jig at the venue.
On the 1st of July, 2011, the henna applying ladies were here and the whole day went off in adorning the hands of all the ladies, girls and kiddos and, of course the bride, amidst stringing of flowers and singing of wedding songs. Kunvar, my son, sat through the mehendi ceremony like a good boy although he was smeared all over with it. The Bhabhis( sisters-in-law and their toil (gang) brought the kadoli(a pot of water) home. Then followed the ubtan or haldi (turmeric) ceremony. Karina, being a Mexican and with no family to represent her had to share the limelight for the Mehendi and the ubtan with Kunvar. It was a strange yet novel thing to see both the bride and bridegroom going through the pre-wedding rituals together.
Raynah gardens were decked like a bride and twinkled as if the stars had come on earth and looked ethereal for the Mehendi night. The light showers in the evening did give me the jitters but then the skies cleared up and the venue was just perfect. We have our own in-house entertainment team (my beloved nieces) who kept on singing and dancing all the time. The in-demand songs were Jalebi bai and Shiela ki jawani on popular demand and not to forget, Shakira’s, Hips don’t lie!! The DJ played his stint with the dhol wala in between.The wonder of this wedding was my elder brother dancing when it came to “baari barsi khatan ke assi te khat ke leyaanda pajama te bhangra taa sajda je nache munde da mama”!( Mama means maternal uncle) I have never seen my eldest brother dancing and it brought tears of joy into my eyes as he more than made up for my husband’s absence.
Once we oldies left the party the drinks flowed, the tequila shots downed and the rain gods opened up with thunderous showers but it didn’t deter the revelers from their revelry. Designer dresses were being drenched but who cared. The DJ stopped as his console was getting drenched, then the dhol walla( drummer) was asked to play and play loud. It was a time to be enjoyed, time to let their hair down and dance away the night. After the tequila shots came the shayri(poetry), Kunwar( my cousin) senior style…where he sent “Raja-Rani to the mela”!! It was almost 4 am when all the mad hatters trudged home and the dhol actually stopped and then a round of chai (tea) at that hour. I wondered if any of them would awaken for the 7 am wedding I had planned for.
Even I found it difficult to wake up and I had to drag myself out of bed as my legs were complaining, but I did and then went about waking each one up with loving and coercing words. Slowly, each one stumbled out of the night’s hangover and Kunvar, the groom was waiting for the sehra to be tied (a face garland of strings and pearls, tied by the sisters). Mind you he has not one crazy sister (Esha Singh who danced her heart out) but a dozen cousins and each one wanted to tie for the sehra. The baraat(the grooms cavalcade) was mainly let by ladies and the dhol wala while the bridegroom followed in the car( usually rides a horse but he refused to ). The bride looked resplendent and very much like one of us (Indians) in all her finery. My dream was coming true of seeing my son dressed as a groom and his bride decked with chooda (wedding bangles in red), kaleere (gold hangings from the bangles) and kinari wali chunni (dupatta with glittering tassels).
When the parents of the bride and groom had to stand up for the prayers, I was the lone figure there and that’s when I missed my husband the most. Life is not fair!!The feras (wedding ceremony) went off without a hitch and I rushed home to welcome the bride and groom. I felt so proud to welcome home my son and his bride as I now had a new member added to my family. The various ceremonies of fun and masti took place and everyone just crashed!
The reception was in the evening and the venue was being decorated solely by Kirat (my nephew) with a mish-mash of ideas from Sahiba, Kunvar and I. We just wanted a purple hue to the room and didn’t want to spend tons on the florist. So we just have a purple light shade to the room with purple orchids in the background. The chairs were tied up with purple net and there was a candle bowl as a centerpiece on each table
Wonder of wonders was that, there were so many you.ng girls in the family but none went to the parlour.There were in-house beauticians at work! And each one turned out in their best. Even the bride’s make-up was done by my pretty niece Kiran.The reception at DV Manor was a perfect backdrop for this Monsoon Wedding. The hall looked magically purple-hued, so did the cake.The food was delectable, the ambience just about perfect and the DJ, dhol and music set the mood for the evening.The party rocked to the latest beats and even those who had two left feet shook a leg and let loose!
It was humbling to receive the wishes of loved ones and the wedding was a memorable event only due to the warmth, love, caring and participation of each and everyone. A big fat Indian wedding is possible even with big hearts and not only with a big fat money bags!!
This monsoon wedding will be unforgettable experience for sure.
At the Mehendi Night
The dancing divas
My brother dancing
My daughter and I dancing in joy
The bro and sis jiving it up
The pretty Bride in all her finery
Dancing in the rain
Welcoming the bride into my home
Toasting each other!
On the dance floor
All the cousins together!