Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Big Fat South Indian Wedding

Warning: Interminably long post ahead.

Unlike the more popular North Indian weddings that have been made famous by Bollywood, there exist a little less melodramatic but equally important South Indian weddings.

I have just played witness to an authentic Tam-Bram wedding and during one of my several ruminations during the wedding, i realised that it is time someone popularised the South Indian Wedding as well. I decided to take the onus on to my slender shoulders and below is the chronicles of a Pallakad Iyer wedding.

The ceremonies began on Friday morning. I am related to the groom who is the Pallakad Iyer. The girl is a Kannadiga. They met while working in Satyam and the rest, shall we say, is proverbial history. My cousin, the groom, refused to divulge the intimate details of the proposal so i shall leave that to the readers imagination.

Anyhow, on Friday morning 10 of us trooped into a Qualis and headed for the brides house. It was the day of the haldi ceremony. This is a Kannadiga ritual where haldi (turmeric) is applied on the faces of the bride, groom and guests. I applied a big dollop of haldi on my cousins nose, much to his consternation. Then there was the bangle ceremony which is quite self-explanatory.

My mother had composed quite a few songs for the occasion. Yup, amma is a Javed Akhtar in the making. So the songs had funny lyrics like, "Tumhare honge bacche, milenge humko laddoo" and suchlike.

The next day, we went to the wedding hall at an ungodly hour in the morning for some puja. I spent the afternoon chatting up with a cousin of mine. We exchanged life stories and much more. The evening was the traditional reception where the groom and the bride are made to stand on the stage and shake hands and smile at all the guests. Considering that i had slept only for only four hours the previous night, i slept through most of the reception and missed the much-sought-after photo session.

The wedding was on Sunday morning. Dressed in my pretty-pink saree, i went about looking for some eye candy but it was an exercise in futility. Good looking girls there were many but guys, hardly any.

Our weddings have a nice custom called i-dont-know-what where the bride and the groom try to garland each other whilst the other is lifted by his uncle to prevent the garlanding. Later they are made to sit on a swing and songs are sung. Then there is the tying of the three knots and some other puja.

The wedding is then officially done with. We played antakshari in the afternoon and thanks to the fact that i conducted the show, our side won. At home began the best part of the entire show, the unwrapping of the gifts. Most of the gifts were quite good. But one abset minded uncle gifted a piece that was actually a return gift from a wedding held a week ago. He had unfortunately forgotten to remove the incriminating label.

Tomorrow, there is another function for married women but as i am leaving by tonights train, i shall miss it The wedding has been fun. The aunts and uncles and cousins and grandmas were good company. Thankoo all for making this a wonderful one week.

BTW, i have also begun the hunt for a suitable groom. The next post shall be about my list of requirements from the perfect man...

Till then, Good bye and good luck

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice post, but you should have mentioned 'Palakkad Philharmoic'. I thought portions of the lyrics could be rated 'PG' :p

That chap at 10 o'clock would have suited you perfectly.

g-man said...

i remember my cousin's wedding too...my dad couldn't lift all 90 kilos of him so the whole bunch of cousins (3 of us) did the honours instead. unfortunately, we lifted him up after he got garlanded. besides the point, but it was fun. someone tossed a laddoo at him thinkin it was a flower. nice wedding it was. not too many pujas, my cousin hates that.

Sanju said...

Hmmm... looks like a palakkad iyer's wedding still has few things in common with that of a Hebbar Iyengar wedding.

Did you not want to write about the food section :-)

gaya3 said...

Your pink saree is indeed gorgeous...I find South Indian weddings scary because of all the meddling matchmaker aunty types :)

Anonymous said...

" i went about looking for some eye candy but it was an exercise in futility "

Did i tell you the number of people I had to respond to for "Whose that girl in the pink saree" ?sad none of em caught your eye!!

Anonymous said...

LOL

i rmr aunty teaching us those songs during summer holidays !! :))

sweety, msa

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