A Punjabi wedding
Punjabi culture is a synonym for fun. Wherever the Punjabis go, they take with them a hearty appetite for good food and warm company. A wedding being an opportunity to indulge in both, Balle balle is the way to go!
This was the wedding-season’s first dinner for me this year. The venue, Surya auditorium was alight with two parallel wedding celebrations. Sheepishly I walked out of the wrong one.
Floating rose-petals and earthen lamps, pillars, brocade archways and the mandatory red carpet set the mood at the entrance itself. Even chairs were dressed in a golden sash for the occasion.
Shehnai to Bhangra beats
Recorded shehnai music made its way to every cologned or gold-studded ear, before the Bhangra dhol beats took over later on. The gathering was large, yet everyone knew almost everyone else. 'Jadu ki jhappi', hugging was on in full swing.
The handsome groom was exuberant as a school-kid at his own birthday party
It was a happy occasion. The eldest daughter from the youngest batch at home was to be bid adieu, to her home and hearth with hubby dear! Dressed in a blend of copper-carrot pink lehanga, heavily embroidered in Aari-zardozi, added to her shy and beautiful persona.
The handsome groom was exuberant as a school-kid at his own birthday party. In an off-white sherwani, and flowery sehra with gold tinsel, he complimented his shy bride. They looked good together.
He was overly pleased that finally his bachelor days were put to rest now that he had a lovely companion to walk the road of life with him. The groom’s friends danced through the night to dhol beats rendered by a couple of accomplished drummers, dholis.
While guests made merry, the bride and groom were showered with gifts and blessings. They greeted the guests with hugs, Namaste, or Paeri-pauna as appropriate. Relatives and friends posed for photographs with heart-warming smiles. It was a once in a lifetime occasion.
Beautiful girls, draped in saris, hung out together. The Jija’s salees, planning for the pheras, and juta-churai. Their chatting and joking reminded me of feathered songsters. The wedding itself was formalized at the phera ceremony in front of a fire.
The couple exchanged promises for life, as the pundit chanted Sanskrit Mantras, which they repeated. The wedding mandap was equally festive with fresh marigold and orchid streamers and painted rangoli to add to the happy occasion.
Fairy-lights and moonlight graced the lawn, where the dinner tables awaited us. Already full with the many snacks and drinks that had been making the rounds, I didn’t care much for dinner now. But, the simple, uncluttered Punjabi menu of Kadhai-paneer, Mushroom-matar, Dal-makhani and Tawa-subzi, with missi roti and nan, was no way a burden to choose from. It was a solid Punjabi dinner.
With Ras-malai, moong ki dal ka halwa and different flavours of ice-creams to choose from, the kids were going berserk! Parents eyed their kids suspiciously, wondering if they had had anything at all except ice cream!
The dance floor was sizzling with people of all ages dressed in silk and tweeds. It was around midnight, and the party was nowhere near ending, yet leaving the bride and the groom to start a new life in the warmth of their newfound love, I left for home.