Blog post by Bhargavi Barathi
Muhurtham, horai and the nalla neram concept is a huge deal for us Brahmins. More so if it’s the exact lagnam when the thirumangalya dhaaranam and kanya dhaanam of your kondey is to take place.
This is the story of how a paunchy, middle aged, garrulous preachy vaathiyar mama threatened to sabotage sticking to that lagnam during one of my cousin’s wedding.
It was a brilliant morning and one of the few times when I had woken up so early to get ready for an early muhurtham. Let’s fast forward to reaching the mandabam fully decked up in kalyanathuku appropriate attire and meeting various athais, athimbers, mamas, mamis and of course, their children.
I hadn’t seen most of them in a long time and of course the usual, “karuthu poitiye”, “mellis aayinde poindrikiye” ritual happened along with the “evlo naal achu paathu” and standard combination of “naan yaaru nu theriyardha kondey?”, “Enna nyabagam iruka noku?”
My Amma along with her cousins, being athais and maamis of the bride took their place behind the bride on the stage. My older cousin and I got dragged along too. The view of the mangalya dhaaranam from there being up close, was pretty exciting, I have to admit.
Cutting to the chase, the bride is now seated on her Appa and the thengai is placed on her head and the groom is following the vaathiyar’s instructions to the T. The groom’s parents are sitting on the stage, facing the vaathiyar and the bride’s Amma is right behind her. The only things left to do are the much awaited kanya dhaanam and mangalya dhaaranam.
Now is the time when the vaathiyar decides to have some fun and steal the spotlight. He starts talking! (WHY?!)
He starts off with how he was the vaathiyar for the groom’s parent’s wedding too about 27 years ago. Then he tells everybody in the mandabam how we all should be very proud that, “indha kondel rendu perum samatha appa amma paatha ponnu paiyana kalyanam pannika pora” unlike the trend in this day and age.
Really? I mean you really had to say that? And now? I fully agree that we have to respect vaideegas but, this man should have understood that there’s a place and time for everything. He thought he was making sense, but that was only an unnecessary, cheap, low blow and to whom? For what?
This only reminds me of what a particular maami once said about a different cousin of mine when she found out that he was all set to marry his long-time girlfriend (who wasn’t a nammalava). “Avana? But avan romba nalla paiyan aache?” So, what the maami is saying is he isn’t a nalla paiyan anymore or what? What about the fact that he’s honouring his commitment, maami? Clearly, that means nothing to the maami. I don’t want to get into analysing the thought processes of these people because I know that’s a whole different debate altogether.
Anyway, the vaathiyar rambles on a little more and by now, I can see even my Appa, who has studied astrology is visibly furious for fear of missing the lagnam.
The bride’s Amma, wanting to stop his rambling, very smartly, wrongly signals the getti melam to start. (Almost like how you start clapping in a boring lecture! Genius!)
The climax? It is what you expected. No twists there, thank God. He was forced to stop, much to his displeasure and carried on with what he was primarily there for.
What about the lagnam, you ask? WE MADE IT just in time! 😀