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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Punjabi Wedding


The wedding celebrations starts two days before the main ceremony with Sangeeth. The same evening (July3rd), several women gathered in the living room to turn this event lively with some traditional songs.  The youngsters played music and entire family danced to the Bangra music. It was a very lively atmosphere.


After that, there was this ritual, where in the women apply turmeric to the bridegroom. 



Snacks were arranged in the terrace for all the guests. Some tasty local chats were brought in. Next, the boy leaves the house and goes to his uncles house refusing to marry the girl unless his father settles to a renumeration demanded. Well Aman was hoping lakhs but I think he could not negotiate beyond a couple of thousands. Meanwhile, at home, the sisters of the bridegroom got Mehendi done to their hands. 


All through the evening, I had a very entertaining company of Aman’s little cousin Harshit, a eleventh grader. His lively nature, enthusiasm and witty talks made time fly by. 

After a tiring day, I retired to bed at around midnight. Next day, we were up and ready by 7:00 AM. Aman’s uncle took me to the nearby Gurudwara where I observed and repeated his mannerisms. A lady was singing verses from the holy book. I sat there for a while amongst others observing the little details of this place of worship. 

A bus was arranged to Ambala, to the brides place which was a 6 hours drive. I don’t think I have to mention that it was an AC bus. Aman’s cousin, Sheena, Harshit and I occupied the last seat and conversed a lot. Sheen’s brother Lucky joined midway and we had some great fun moments with lots of inside jokes. The best one was we teased Harshit for tagging every Facebook photo with 39 others. So it became a joke amongst us and we would end every sentence with « 39 others ». 

The bus would stop at right places for breakfast and lunch. We had very tasty Samosas for breakfast and a good Punjabi meal for lunch. It is interesting to see how tasty the food is generally here in any place. The dhabas have amazing food. Post lunch, the bus got lively with Antakshari. Lot of singing and shouting followed. It suddenly turned the journey into a celebration. It is interesting to notice that how Antakshari is so much a part of Indian culture irrespective of where we come from. In Mangalore, I can’t think of any travel with an extended family that would have happened without an Antakshari. It always sets the mood right. 

We reached Ambala Cantt at around 5PM after several U-turns and of course a stop for tea. When I asked Lucky why we were stopping, he replied - « Hum punjabi hein humara pet kabuki nahi barta. » (we are punjabis, our stomachs never gets full.) that was hilarious! Some home made snacks were also served by a co-traveler. 

We were put up at the Country wood hotel outside of Ambala cantt. I shared my room with Aman’s friend Madhav from Delhi. It was great talking to him. Madhav and Aman both are into music and I enjoyed my conversation with him. By 8 PM we got ready. We walked down to grab some food. The setting was exuberant. The engagement stage was well decorated and there was food in every corner of the ground. You name the cuisine and it was there. We tried some local Delhi chats. Everything was delicious. Food is always a very crucial part of an Indian wedding and no matter which part of India you come from, a special attention to variety of food is given.


The Baarat (Bridegrooms wedding procession) was to start at 8:30 PM but it only began at 11:30 PM. Madhav and I could not stand the heat so we returned to the room to relax in an AC environment  Two friends of Aman, Chris and Fabien had arrived from France and they wanted to tie pagdi (Turban) like Sardars.  Aman had arranged for that and they flaunted their new look at the engagement. The Baarat was lot of fun with friends and relatives of Aman dancing in front of the chariot he was riding in. He looked fantastic in his ethnic wear. Madhav and I started off the selfie mania there too. 




After the boy arrived at the entrance, the girl family came and greeted everyone. Her uncle hugged his uncle and offered each other some gifts. The same repeated with all other relatives. Aman’s friend Simran’s dad explained to us that actually a Sikh wedding is very simple. There is a prayer in front of their holy book and that is all. But then how we prefer to celebrate the occasion depends on us. I think that is true in any wedding. The rituals are normally simple but we want to turn this moment into something special because it is the moment to reunite and celebrate our togetherness. 

After that was done, the bride’s sisters blocked the grooms way. They demanded a hefty amount to let him pass. A negotion between the girls and the boys from the grooms side followed and finally a sum was agreed upon.

The girl arrived in a chariot decorated with Peacock feathers and a pre-wedding shoot was displayed on big screen.

Madhav and I finished some quick dinner at midnight. The choice of cuisine varied from Indian to Chinese to Italian. We wished Aman and his fiancée and decided to head back to room and crash. After a small chat about n’importe quoi, I retired to bed at around 1 AM.

Next day was the wedding. We were up and ready by 10:00 AM. That was what we were told  and considering the rituals in the south, that had to happen at the right time of the day, I expected less delay on the day of the wedding. But, here things are different. By the time everyone was ready, it was 12:00 PM. Till then, Madhav, Fabien, Chris and I chatted. Fabian and Chris also had no plans for the day so we three decided to head to Delhi after the wedding. Madhav suggested we stay at a hostel called Zostel. We made our free reservations online. While we waited for others, Harshit and I took some crazy, funny selfies.

The wedding in Gurudwara was simple with the priest reading verses from the holy book and some prayers. The boy and girl walk around the holy book to complete the ritual. After the wedding, lunch was served there. Again, lots of food. We changed and decided to head to Delhi soon after lunch. Before leaving, we took some selfies with the couple.

I am growing extremely fond of group selfies. They always appear to be happy and natural. Perhaps, it is because everyone unitedly is in the same moment. My selfie stick is the best purchase I have made in recent times as it helps me bring people together into a moment that seems to be perfect only with togetherness. And what a wonderful wedding this was!

2 comments:

  1. Je te remercie pour toutes ces belles photos, ça fait rêvé... (◕‿◕) ♥

    Bisous

    Manon

    ReplyDelete

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