Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Grand Finale

The much awaited day dawned. Of course, we were all up much before the day dawned and we did not see any daylight until it was late afternoon. We had to leave for the venue very early, so we all woke up after a very short nap and got ready to leave, (we had to collect the fresh flowers from our garden for Y’s hair dress and pick up other things kept ready) so that we could reach in time to do the bridal make over for Y. We were planning to start the ceremonies at 6.30am.With the help of Veena and Y’s mother we got Y ready on schedule.
We had the bride and groom exchange the garlands with lots of merriment.We had planned to have an oonjal ceremony before the Arya samaj style wedding, as this is a function full of fun and everybody enjoys it. We had a lovely oonjal.
The Oonjal ceremony was enjoyed by all especially by the bride and her parents. My cousins Rama and Geetha sang the oonjal songs.

Immediately after we started with wedding ceremonies.
The ceremony had most of our rituals, like Kanyadhan, homams, Panigrahan, saptapadi, shilarohan, parikarma, lajahoma, mangalyadharan, sindhoor, Aashirvad, etc., though there were some differences in the rituals from the regular tambram rituals. For instance, in the Shilarohan ceremony (ammi mithikkal), it is the groom who leads the bride by taking 7 steps towards the granite slab and places her foot on to the slab, saying whatever difficulties arise in our life you must be firm like this granite stone. In Arya samaji style, it is the bride’s mother, who places the bride’s foot onto a piece of granite and tell her to be firm as a granite under any circumstance.
Then there was another ritual in which the groom’s mother is asked to sprinkle some water onto the bride’s head and tell her, “as a family there could be occasions when we may have to use harsh words, but you are advised to keep your cool and take everything as contributing towards the welfare and happiness of the family.”

We are 5 now with the addition of beautiful Y into our family
The wedding ceremony was followed by a reception with Y dressed in a beautiful Kimono. The reception makeover was completely done by Y’s super talented mom.
So the much awaited, much planned and much discussed about event took place to the satisfaction of one and all.

As usual every one praised about the planning and execution of various events. And yet there were events which won the appreciation of one and all. Some of these were:

The flower decoration was something which was very very special.
The food. The food was exotic to say the least. The banquet executive had taken special care to provide all the items in the menu, onion and garlic free to selected guests. (We had asked for one or two items onion and garlic free as there were some elderly people in our family who wouldn’t eat onion and garlic. He assured us that he could provide a special spread of all items in the menu onion and garlic free for our special guests).

The reception. Every one appreciated the gesture of the bride and groom moving among the guests and meeting each and everyone of them. The usual practice we find these days is the bride and groom and their parents standing in the mantap and the guests queuing up just to go up and wish them and getting photographed and hurrying up to have their meal and leave.
A special appreciation for timing of the reception for the noon. Many of our guests, especially the senior citizens and ladies were very happy that it was a lunch reception as it becomes very difficult for people to commute for a dinner reception in the late evenings, in the present day traffic chaos of Bangalore.

And finally, we had arranged for the bride and groom to come home after the reception. We also had Y’s parents accompany them to follow the tradition of leaving the daughter at the in-laws’ home. After the usual aarati at the front door, we gave the bride and groom paalum pazhavum(milk and banana). As my Vasantha chithi says, having paalum pazhavum symbolises the couple complementing each other like banana in milk, at the same retaining their identities.

I beseech all my readers to join me in wishing the couple a happy and long wedded life. May Heaven’s choicest Blessings be showered on them.