The Indian marriage is always an extravaganza, with meeting the timelines, the fashion parade, the invitations, the suggestions and also the curt remarks (Russave Aani Phoogave ) from not-so-happy relatives. But then it’s fun, romance and meticulous project management with few slippages and few quick wins, few surprises and few disappointments as well.
The part that I love most is the occasion to meet so many people, people you already know, people you never met before, people who are funny and people who are really helpful and make sure that every aspect of this grand affair is a success.
The other part is music, dance and food festival. It’s fun to dance, but it’s more fun to watch people dance and the enthusiasm just starts overflowing, if it’s more of a country side marriage, where people are more interested in fun, rather than worrying about looking funny or their status, hairstyle and makeup etc. The countryside marriage also has this non- stop enthusiasm of people, the proper village folks helping and going an extra mile, as if it’s the marriage of their own brother.
All the enthusiastic ladies of the home had decided to wear Navaari Saree (A more traditional than the saree that we see in daily life) for the Haldi anf Huhurat (few ritual on a day before marriage) on the day prior to marriage. Sheetal had her first time to wear Navaari Saree on that occasion and they wanted somebody real good to help them wear in a perfect traditional manner. But getting somebody like my cousins mother-in-law was sheer luck. She not only got all these young ladies ready, but then gave tips to get photographed in right poses. Her enthusiasm made the whole fashion parade enjoyable and was another parallel and prominent activity as compared to the rituals for the groom.
My Maami(mother of the groom) was supposed to be the lady of the event and should have got 10 people at her disposal to carry on orders. But the humble and down to earth as she is, she was in her mad rush serving all others, making sure everyone gets treated with sweets and given gifts, as the tradition is. She was just unstoppable and the enthusiasm was overpowering any human limitations.
My mom has two brothers and three sisters and each one of them are having their own different personalities. Seeing them in action and looking at reactions of each ones of them was also so interesting. My Mavshis (Mom’s sisters) are extremely talkative and compete with each other, when it comes to talking. But what mattered more were the pride and the love each one of them carried in making this occasion grand and enjoyable. The endless hospitality, suggestions (sometimes too many) and the overall ambience of the cozy village setup added to the flavor.
The rituals kept the groom and his close ones busy, while the rest of the people like us were forced to get into endless, discussion that started and ended seamlessly, with people joining in and departing the groups. Sitting close to few of the elderly people and listening to their wisdom also makes them feel important at these times and it’s a good way of looking at things from different perspective.
The best part of this marriage was I was reliving all the moments of my marriage and was really enjoying it. There were few lads and girls from young generation, who were yet to get married and chatting with them about their expectations from life and the maturity shown at times was interesting. Every corner of the house was happening, with jokes, serious talks, compliments, opinions, some real behind the scenes hard work, hospitality, a little romance and dance masti.
But then if you really see, even though it was Mital’s marriage, wasn’t every person special, wasn’t he or she dressed best and enjoying to the fullest. I guess marriage is such an opportunity where you get this chance to become special and treat yourself.
The marriage was supposed to happen in a remote village(Mathane) in Saphale (Bride’s Hometown) some 1.5 hours of road trip from Virar (Grooms Hometown). After being exhausted by the enthusiastic dance, nonstop talk and the fun and frolic of the earlier day, getting up early wasn’t that easy.
I was not quite sure I would go to the actual marriage at Mathane thinking about the distance and the hectic travelling. But then how can I miss any action and fun. I have never been to this remote village and wanted to enjoy the trip and the trip indeed turned out to be much interesting than I thought.
7 am was the time given for staring the journey to the marriage place and 10:40 was the “Muhurat” (marriage time) . We should have reached the venue, at least an hour before that. But then as it turned out that while all the other people were all set and ready to get onto the road, the groom and the other close ones were still looking for bathroom to take bath and rooms to change cloths.
I just tell you, it was fun to watch them running around (A typical lagin ghai) and the mismanagement was quite evident. I heard somebody asking for “Mundavalya” and three people searching for it asking 10 other people. May be I am exaggerating a bit but then the scene was funny and annoying for few.
But then few people were not bothered by this and doing their job perfectly and totally devoted to make this event, an event to remember. Finally we (the Dilwaale) were all set and on the road, ready to go to Dulhan’s place to repeat “Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayengein” 🙂
The highway distance was covered much easily and it gave me feeling of American freeway with toll half of those freeways. Looks like India is really making some good progress in highways infrastructure. With my youngest mavshi(Mother’s sister) with us there was this nonstop discussions of everyday life, career the teaching profession and few general topic. We were quick to reach the highway exit for the village and the real tour started from there. Not knowing the correct road and road being in real bad condition in few of the places, we took much more time to reach the actual place of event.
The village was a very remote, peaceful place very close to the seashore. I was so happy with my decision to be there at the marriage, as it was surely a quick one day picnic for us. With Hardik, with his camera and zoom lens and commercial artist skills we had a good fashion parade and photo shoot, in the midst of the natural settings. Some of the snaps especially those of vegetable fields and coconut trees were awesome. The unique feature of these villages is the old fashioned, red brick houses with slanting roofs and couple of front doors in row. The concepts like “OTTA” (Vharanda), “OSARI” (Hall),”ZOPAALA”, (Swing) , “MAAGELDAAR” (Backyard) “POTMAALA” (Mezzanine floor), “KAALANGE” (Grain Storage) and “VIHIR” (Well) are prevalent and become the integral part of culture here.
The food again had that proper village flavor and although simple, was satisfying my taste buds. Probably the locally grown vegetables have added flavor to it and then eating in the shade of coconut trees with a cool and salty breeze of the surrounding greenery and seashore, was making this meal more than a just a feast.
The reception is the time to really get dressed well and make sure people look at you and say few nice words. It’s time to also forget all the issues and conflicts as I see many people, who don’t even see each other’s faces, at times exchange smiles and greet each other, as if they are the best friend 🙂 Doesn’t matter if it is a pretence, but that really breaks the ice for many people for sure.
One issue with Indian marriages is the hosts and especially the bride and groom have to at times greet so many guests that they hardly get time to eats and savor the delicacies chose with lot of thought to suit the occasion and then you can see few faces really hungry to death, but having to keep their smile on the face intact and wait for the final celebration meal. This is when all the guests are gone and its only the family members left . I remember my marriage when the marriage started at around 10am went on till 12pm and we were on stage at around 1pm and I was having that plastic smile on for 3 more hours to have the food finally at 4pm. I just really hate that, but there is no escape either.
The leg pulling, a bit of romance, was another part of the young people and I was part of it too. We asked Mital to find his name on Trupti’s hands hidden in the henna designs on her hands. He kept sitting there probably foreseeing his entire life, within the hands of his life partner J . But then he was to failed. Our demand was to simply propose Trupti in the most romantic way he can in front of all of us. We had a real hard time making him do that and even my quick and hearty 🙂 demonstration with Sheetal, did not really do any magic. Finally even the bride started feeling really sleepy and gave up. Finally our Dilwaala poured his heart out, blushing and hesitating at the core of his heart.
The other interesting part of the marriage is the girl who accompanies the bride (Anwar), to make her comfortable in the alien atmosphere she enters. If this girl is either good looking or extrovert and talkative, then it’s all the more fun, as the young lads start seeing the future possibilities of their marriage in her and it has been a common practice so far. It can just be a youthful fun involved into teasing somebody unknown and the reason behind this is generally to get to know more about that person for sure and having some lighter fun.
The non-vegetarian feast on the next day to the marriage in the remote village like this in Virar meant lot of meat, chicken, bhujing, combadi-wade and liquor. It’s time for villagers to deep dive into the non vegetarian culinary specialty and spices, topped with few hot drinks to really indulge and let away the control. The discussions at such tables are interesting and never-ending. We did have our own private feast with fried chicken and a beer as sitting with some of these veterans can get you into trouble, as you might be a victim of their overflowing hospitality at times 🙂
I am still badly waiting for all the photos and shooting, as sitting in couch and looking at those faces and expressions, (missed out during, the actual marriage), come alive and then the comments are much more fascinating to hear.
Wish you a happy marriage
Je vous souhaite un heureux mariage (French)
Желаю вам счастливого брака (Russian)
Deseamos un feliz matrimonio (Spanish)
Toivotan teille hyvää avioliittoa(Finish)