The Bride’s Side- Part 2

Back to blogging after like a month of being inactive. And the excuse this time is that I had so much editing to do, that I just ran away from anything that required me to open my laptop. Believe me, I hate anything related to weddings right now because I’v only been thinking about them this past one month.

First it was the preparation that went into all the planning for covering weddings, then came the weddings themselves and finally the mammoth task of editing thousands of pictures and shortlisting which are worthy enough to be given to the client. Phew! Whoever said weddings are supposed to fun and frolic, was never a wedding photographer.

Anyways, I’l crib later. First let me take you guys through the wedding day of an Indian Bride. Actually the wedding day of the last bride I met.

I Reached the venue at 7 in the morning on her wedding day and she was sitting there all ready and waiting for the rituals to begin. I can understand her not being able to sleep because of all the excitement but the poor girl went to bed at 2 in the morning after dancing for hours and here she was all ready and smiling.

Her’s was a Sikh wedding which take place in the morning. Usually north Indian weddings take place in the evening so the brides have a comparatively comfortable day and the madness begin at night. But here, the bride was supposed to be up and ready early morning and get done with all the rituals so that she could reach the parlor and meet her beautician at 9.

So when all the relatives were ready, the first ritual of the day began. The Chooda/Choora Ceremony.This is basically a Punjabi cultural ceremony where the Bride’s maternal uncles slip red and ivory bangles on her wrists which she would wear for the next 40 days. Bangles have a huge importance in the Hindu culture and married ladies are supposed to wear bangles all the time. The Chooda/Choora symbolizes that her wrists would never be empty from now on. In earlier days, the bride was supposed to wear her chooda for at least a year and the bride was refrained from doing any heavy household jobs. After the first anniversary, a small homely ceremony was held where the In-Law’s would remove her Chooda and Glass or gold bangles were placed on her wrists. The Chooda was then taken to a river and a small prayer was held after the which the Chooda was left to float in the river. My maternal grandmother’s Chooda was made of pure ivory and I remember her telling me that her chooda was floated in the river ‘Ganga“.

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Also, After the Chooda ceremony, the family of the bride hangs ‘Kalire‘ on her Bangles. The kalirey traditionally were made of a thin metal usually golden or silver in color, and coconuts. The metal symbolizes wealth and prosperity for the bride and groom and the coconuts symbolized that the bride never runs out of food in her new home.

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After this ceremony, The bride picked up her dress and jewelry and headed to the parlor to get ready and actually become a Bride.

I don’t know how the brides deal with it, but getting ready for the wedding ceremony according to me is probably the most agonizing part of the entire wedding. I mean I just sit in a corner and keep clicking pictures, but the poor bride has to sit on that chair for like 2 hours and get her make up and hair done and then get her lehenga draped. I shudder at the thought of going through this on ¬†my own wedding. Though I’v seen brides who really enjoy the ‘getting ready’ part, I find it a torture. Sure I want to look my best on my wedding, but to sit and get your makeup done for like 2 hours is scary! Oh well! God help me and the beautician on my wedding day. I’l probably have to pay her double of what she charges to handle my tantrums as well. ūüėõ

Anand Karaj

 

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So, now when the bride is ready and is all anxious for the baraat (The Groom and his relatives)¬†to come, her sister’s and friends all come to her. Sister’s play a huge role in the wedding for a bride. They help the bride get ready, chose the best Bindi, give secret signals on whether the make up is going good or not, and are basically turn into a superwoman of sorts who can handle everything from getting extra hairpins to keeping the bride calm in such times when the bride is ready to explode with nervousness.

The bride sits in this small powder room reserved for her at the venue, waiting patiently for her knight on a white horse to come as everybody around her goes into a tizzy the moment they come to know that the baraat is about to reach.

And that is when the actual wedding begins…

 

Pictures By Clickaholicks

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Dancing In A Punjabi Wedding

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Punjabi wedding are THE most fun thing ever. Don’t get me wrong. All weddings are fun, but the madness in Punjabi wedding always manages to reach a new high. And this time, the wedding was of my cousin sister who flew down from the States to get married in our pind.

Now those of you who are not familiar with what a pind is, it’s our village where our ancestors lived and our family has an ancestral home there. So most of the weddings are held there and our huge family which is scattered all over the world come together and goes absolutely crazy.

And when I say crazy, I mean they literally go crazy. There is drinking and laughter and dancing everywhere.

And dancing is what I’m going to talk about, because there are various stages to dancing in our family weddings.

There is a big veranda at our place and the DJ is usually set up there. It’s big enough for the dancers in our family to to jump around without bumping into someone or something.

Stage 1. Now when the DJ starts playing, nobody initially bother’s about what music is being played and everybody is just talking to each other and meeting everybody. After like half an hour, somebody would realise that the music is playing and and would start urging people to come and dance. A few enthusiastic kids would start dancing and their parents would scramble around to get a good picture of them on their I-phones. ¬†They would be tapping their feet and you can see that they want to dance, but nobody wants to be the first one on the dance floor.

Stage 2. Somebody(usually my grandma) would then go up to the dance floor and start dancing. Slowly everybody who is cheering for her would come up and finally start dancing. At this stage nobody is bothered what song is being played as long as everybody is on the dance floor and the noise level is enough to wake up 5 villages around our village. ¬†Everybody is high on excitement and happiness and the dances are beyond what anybody can imagine and what I can write. Basically it’s a bunch of grown ups who will behave like kids who are high on candy! You dance, get tired, go and eat some finger food and come back again.

Stage 3. This stage comes at around 11:30 at night when all the elders will start cribbing about the loud music and will ask everyone to go to bed because next day the rituals start early in the morning. The music is stopped for like 15 minutes and the moment the elder’s go, the DJ is on again and everybody is back on the dance floor.

Stage 4. All the men and guys who were earlier at the bar and had not bothered about dancing, come to the dance floor and begin what can not be called dance. It’s usually a drunk version of kathak, bharatatnatyam and bhangra all combined into one. The people watching first laugh their hearts out and finally can not resist joining in.This is the point where after every 10 minutes somebody (usually ¬†my dad) would scream “OK everybody! This is the last song”, and no body would pay attention. The music will keep on playing till the time everybody realises that it’s getting really late and they all need to up the next day at 5 in the morning to get ready for the rituals.

Stage5. Everybody is drop dead tired but are planning about dancing again the next day after the wedding ceremony. And before they can finish making their plans, they all fall in their beds and have no clue about anything that is happening around them.

Picture- Clickaholicks