So it's been more than two weeks since I wrote something (except the birthday post)..sigh! Was very busy.. Last to last weekend I had to a cousin's marriage in Dehradun, and last week the weather in Delhi was no nice that I was just enjoying it so did not do anything.
When I had come from Dehradun, I had thought of so many topics to write but the moroseness of modern life has almost made me forgotten what all I had hoped to write.
So let me write about the wedding. Considering my deep abhorrence for family functions and irritating family relatives, I knew what I was going to expect there in Dehradun, and as always these irritating people never seem to disappoint me. Look at the audacity that some of them were bitching about my mom even all the while knowing that I could hear each and every word of theirs. I wish I had relatives like Hansa of Khichdi. Hello-how-are-khana-kha-ke-jana-haan. And after doing aur-beta-kaise-ho-kya-kar-rahe-ho-kitna-package-hai routine with uncountable relatives, I just quietly moved in the corner away from all the hullabaloo in the guava orchard (ok..there was no guava orchard but I love this title of the book by Kiran Desai whose other book's name was my blog's first name inheritance-of-loss). Since I hate relatives of my age group as I don't like to talk to them, I was busy with my small seven year old cousin. The thing about kids is that they are very natural, they say everything on the face, and as we grow up we tend to become artificial, we like to keep things to ourselves. However, as usual I felt so lost in parties and as usual I was just looking for things to eat to keep me busy. So I gulped down plates and plates of spring rolls and dahi bhalle..I can have these two things anytime anywhere..
Anyways, my primary motivation to go to the trip was wedding photography! and no not those video-vale bhaiya with lights in hand who always comes to capture you when you have a plate full of the all the available food there that makes you wonder what people will say about when they watch the video! And no my aim was also not not those going-on-the-stage-with-the-family-to-get-clicked-photographs, instead I wanted to click natural pictures of people. As my cousin (the elder brother of the cousin getting married) has an awesome SLR Nikon D60, I was game for the trip that I will click some amazing shots.
So one of the functions is in which the ghadoli is filled. This is the ceremony in which a sarvala (usually the groom's jija) and a sarvali (usually the groom's bhabhi) go to the temple to fill a ghada (an earthen pot). Before this, some ladies sing and dance and make fun on the groom by singing some folk songs :P Think of something on the lines of baari barsi khatan gaya si or check this two year old post where I tried to decipher the meaning of the song madhorama pencha from the movie Monsoon Wedding. This is the link. My massi (my cousin's mom) did not call a photographer for this event. Voila! So I was given the task of photography using the SLR :-) Aah you won't believe I clicked about 600 photographs in two hours!! of course not all were good, but some had some super shots..all natural poses (which I think is an oxymoron how can something natural be posed?) my best were pics of the arti ki thali and the groom's smiling side pose :-) I don't have those pics but will put them here as soon as I get them..but here's the bad luck! my cousin (the one who owns the camera) forgot the battery charger in Delhi only...grrrrrr.. my only reason of going there! I had thought of some shots that I would click in the wedding but alas, that was not meant to be..no camera..WTF..bleh! :-(
So wedding day finally came and I had decided I will sit the entire night and attend the pheres as I believe that a true wedding is the phera ceremony..else if you take that out it is just a dinner! I like to sit the entire night in weddings and watch pheres..now you can do that only in a close relative's wedding no? And I love tradition, especially Indian customs (though these at times enter into the territory of blind faith and superstitions which I don't like, such as Kundalis)..As I was sitting during the beautiful phera ceremony, the panditji came to the topic of vachans..there are seven vachans, popularly called shartein (yes, these are different from the saat pheres) which the groom promises to the bride while the bride vows only one vachan.. how sexist is that ;-) I immediately thought of writing them, I can guarantee that groom won't even remember any of them if you ask him today ;P I missed out writing on the first but here are the rest 6 in brief (I can't write the entire gyaan which panditiji was saying in shhudh hindi)
Vachan 1: (I forgot to write)
Vachan 2: I promise to give food to you
Vachan 3: I promise to give you money (hehe)
Vachan 4: I promise to fulfill all your wishes
Vachan 5: I promise to inform you before any impending foreign visit (this used to happen in earlier times when the groom had to travel abroad and the wife stayed in the home)
Vachan 6: I promse to inform you of any charity I wish to undertake
Vachan 7: I promise that I will have no addiction-inducing substances in life (this led to roars of laughter from the audience..ya the groom and bride were drunk a day before :D)
Where as the bride promises that I will fulfill all your wishes with my heart so that we can have a happy married life...
However, the most beautiful thing that I learnt was during the kanyadaan..the bride's father usually takes the thumb of the bride and hands it over to the groom signifying that he has given is daughter to him..yes, we all know that but what we may not know is that why does the father offer the thumb? The panditji explained that thumb prints of a person are perhaps the only thing that never changes even as one grows up. It is a mark of permanence, similarly by offering the girl's thumb, the bride's father has permanently offered his daughter to the groom. This was pretty interesting.
I have so much to write more of the wedding, but I guess will write more if I feel like in other posts.
P.S. - There was this foreign kudi who was my uncle's friend and was the cynosure of all eyes in the ceremony. She was forced to do some Indian jhatkas and matkas..it was funny when she was dancing on the dhol..hehe but she was pretty hot ;-P