Blog post by Karan Venkiteshwaran
There is a strong reason why our wedding is called the BIG FAT wedding, because we have BIG families, and our sumptuous meal make the guest FAT.
Like any other wedding, even in our wedding, the bride is the focus.
Groom is , well…. Somewhere there on stage 😛
Our wedding is split into 2 days.
Let me take you through a typical 2 day Iyer wedding.
It all starts with the nischayam.
The bride is adourned with a beautiful saree and waits for the groom’s side to come.
Groom comes, once he settles down, he is blindfolded. And then, he just waits.
Until all the sweet and savouries prepared from the bride’s side is presented.
Still, the bride is nowhere to be seen.
Finally, the vadhyar (priest) says ‘ponna koopdungo’ (call the bride)
And finally, like a heroine in a female oriented movie, the bride arrives….
After that the mama of the groom and the mama of the bride put a garland on the groom and bride respectively.
Then, there is something called as ‘Paalikai thelikkarath’
I still have no clue why it’s done. There is navadhaanyam and all mamis of both the sides put the navadhaanyam in a particular sequence.
After the some random poojai happens.
The final thing that marks the end of this function is the kaapu.
It’s tied on the right hand of the bride by her father and on the left hand of the hand by his father.
Then, bride gets a new saree from the groom’s side and vice versa.
There is just 1 change in this.
Groom doesn’t get a saree, he gets a shirt and pants instead. 😛
That marks the end of traditional functions on day 1.
But, in most occasions, that evening the couple all the reasons to smile and shake hands with almost random people for no reason for a function called ‘The Reception’
The people who come to meet have food on time, and the couple, after standing and sitting and constantly smiling, with no food and very less water, finally has something to eat (if there is anything left, owing to our huge appetite) after almost everyone has eaten their fair share of food.
It all starts early in the morning with the groom and bride getting ready for the longest day in their life. And perhaps the most tiring one and the smoky one too!
The first function is the ‘kaashi yaathrai’, where the groom actually gets a final chance to escape
Then, the bride’s father does MBA in marketing and convinces the groom to come back and lead a life just like himself or his ‘sammanthi’.
Finally, after much coaxing, the groom comes back and they welcome him by…..
‘Tossing him in a cradle!!
Groom is almost petrified after this.
Bride watches all this from a corner and laughs at him.
Now, the body builders in the family, the ‘mamas’ of bride and groom have to lift them, as they do maalai maathal, with a background music of ‘maalai maathinal’ (read the song in the voice of MS).
During the time of our grand parents, they used to get married during their teenage. It was easy then. Now… Well you know 😀
After that the groom holds the bride’s hand and comes back to continue the marital journey.
Then a lot of random poojas happen.
Then the anti climax of ‘dhaara vaathu kudukkal’ happens making almost all moms wiping their noses and faces to hide their emotional trauma.
After that the climax of ‘thaali kettu’ happens.
Right after the thaali kett, there is a series of random poojas again, by the end of which the complete makeup on bride’s face and groom’s face (if any :P) goes off.
The final function on day 2 happens after the lunch and it’s called ‘Nelungu’
This is where all the MS Subbulakshmis, DK Pattamals of both the sides come out.
Before the sing off, there is a series of question and answer and grooming session.
That’s the only, as told by my paatti, was the only chance the groom could touch the bride and vice versa.
They would comb the other person’s hair, apply chandanam and so on.
Bride to groom: Arisi tharen. Paripp tharela??
Groom to Bride: Arisium Parippum tharen, enakk chamach podaraya??
This stunt should be performed only under the supervision of an athai / periammai / Mami only. 😛
Then, the interesting ‘pappadam breaking’ contest happens.
Bride has an upper hand as she can use both the hands and stand near the groom.
And the groom has a severe disadvantage here. He can use only 1 hand and can only sit while trying to break the papad on their partner’s head.
Grooms always has the disadvantage in this scenario. 😛
Then, the sing off begins and goes on for hours till one of them has to catch a bus / train the same day..
These many interesting rituals and customs make our marriages grandeur and unique in its own way.
Disclaimer: all the incidents are purely fictional.
Any resemblance to anyone’s marriage experience is purely coincidental. 😀
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