Varied interests in the energy and power sector viz., CDM, carbon rating, Monitoring & Evaluation, Energy Management, Rural Development; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy related matters; Demand Side Management (DSM), Energy Audits, Distributed Power Generation (Biomass, Wind,Solar and Small Hydro), Participatory Management.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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Great indian wedding

The Great Indian marriage

 

By

 

Gopinath S

 

My nephew got married recently in Bangalore. Can I say it was in south indian style? Over the years, we, belonging to older generation, have matured. The youngsters are educated and have travelled around the world much more than us. We have seen enough of 'The great Indian wedding' on the small screen. The city itself breeds cosmopolitan culture. So how can we lag behind other cultures? How much have we changed can be gauged by the mixture of various cultures in the marriage ceremonies planned these days.

 

The boy is tamil speaking and the girl is telugu speaking and both of them know enough kannada and hindi to converse between themselves. The marriage ceremony was preceded by pandal pooje and sumangali prarthane for the welfare of the newly weds in true karnataka style. The invited sumangalis and their families were served sumptuous breakfast and lunch.

 

After lunch session, there was 'mehendi', in gujarati style, with all the women folk sporting artistic designs on their hands. In the background was lilting hindi music from the CDs for the yet-to-be married boys and girls to dance on the floor in front of their elders. Poor husbands had to feed their respective spouses for dinner as the wives were busy drying off their painted hands with lime water. Not to mention, the wedding girl was getting mehendied with special effects on her feet and hands and the boy was totally engrossed in seeing her. It is believed that the girl's hands had english letters from the boy's name written clandestinely and the boy was made to look for his name on her craftful hand.

 

The marriage reception is totally westernised with the bride fully decked up after going through a thorough make up for 3 hours. The groom himself had a 'facial' done for almost 1 hour. The couple started off the reception by walking down the aisle, as in a church, along with their parents. The stage was elaborately decorated with flowers, drapes, flower pots and other props. The couple, on reaching the stage, exchanged garlands and rings. Given a chance, they would have kissed as well. The poor guests had to wait in a long queue to wish the new bridal couple after they settled down in their plush seats. But, they were treated to latest hindi pop songs over the blaring speakers, so they don't hear what their neighbours spoke.

 

Next day early morning is the day for real hindu marriage. The boy decides to take sanyas and goes on 'kashi yatre' with a twig in his hand when the girl's parents meet him half way and offers their only daughter in marriage to him. He relents, but agrees; receives sandals and umbrella as gifts and agrees to sit on the swing along with the girl to receive blessings from the parents and their kith and kin. The lilting music of C Rajagopalachari in tamil, Kurai onrum illai malai moorthy kanna (there is no grievance, oh lord of hills), plays behind to welcome the occasion.

 

Having agreed to marry the girl and lead a family life, the boy ties the nuptial knot around the girl's neck while she sits on her father's lap. That is when the drum beats reach a pinnacle inviting attention of all elderly guests to bless the wedded couple in their holy union. The boy and the girl, now declared husband and wife, go around the sacred fire seven times, to proclaim that they will be together for the next seven generations. They are also made to take oath in the presence of fire god that they will be together in times of both peace and adversity in their lives ahead. The nadaswaram musicians play carnatic music in kannada, telugu and tamil in the background for the benefit of guests.

 

The groom now brings his wife into 'his' house, for the first time after marriage, when she is made to topple a pot filled with rice, coconut and mango leaves, wishing for a house filled with bountiful crop all the time. What better song than the dasa krithi in kannada, bhagyada lakshmi baramma (welcome to you, dear goddess of prosperity, lakshmi), to befit the occasion? All the guests depart for a happy sumptuous meal. That culminates the hindu rituals for marriage.

 

Back to 21st century. The newly married couple is off to the registrar's office to register their marriage, probably for getting visas to go round the world. And, off they go on a honeymoon to an undisclosed destination! The hapless parents and guests are left gaping at each other. Needless to mention, the whole 3-day marriage ceremony is captured in the videos by professional photographers, for posterity, and for the absentee guests to witness the celebrations. This beautiful admixture can happen only in India! So, why create tensions between different languages and cultures?

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Gopinath S Bangalore
91 80 2669 8211
91 99161 29728

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