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.
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.
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!
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