Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Wedding Wave at New Delhi.

Winter weddings at New Delhi are extraordinary. The weather is cold, the bride and groom are  usually happy to marry at an unearthly hour, everything is brightly lit up and copious amounts of liquids and solids float around, followed by quantities of  food and angheetis and electric heaters  efficiently keep the cold away. The most fascinating people at weddings are usually  the women, and Delhi's women are nonpareil. For, nowhere in the world, with temperatures inching closer and closer to the lower single digits would anyone brave the cold in the manner that Delhi's women do,. Wrapped in the most exquisite benaras, tanchoi  and kanjivaram or in the latest  newly restructured saree, with stilletoes and heels sinking into the soft lawns where wedding parties are held, Delhi's women dare the elemental cold with incredible aplomb. Gracefully they pull their heels out of the soft ground shoe by shoe and unfazed by the absence of any warm accessories, glide over the lawns with apparent ease, often accompanied by well layered males.  Not the  fault of the women, this practice.  The festive saree is actually  a very demanding animal. Confine  it with a cardigan, restrict it within a coat , or drape it with a shawl, (never mind if it is pashmina with a jamawar border) any of the aforementioned  attempts asphyxiates  the  aesthetics of the saree. Therefore it becomes de rigeur to wear a saree without  any other distractions. These days, even  the blouse just about manages to pass muster by making itself as inconspicuous as possible.

A whole host of weddings are held in the second half of  December at New Delhi. Purist friends down South  who believe that the month of  marghazi, is ideally spent in pursuit of the life spiritual, completely overlook the powerful impetus provided by the United States of America in altering cultural practice in India. Many young Indians who study and work abroad, fall in love and  get married in situ. For friends and  family in India, this new tie is reiterated with a celebration during the December break.  So late December weddings are now in vogue and have been on the rise over the past few years.
 Ania and Suvir  celebrated the marriage of their son Tariq with Piyali  and hosted two ceremonies for the newly weds. The first of these was a charming mehendi and choori  day-time ceremony on Neel's front lawns at JNU. The sun shone, flowers bloomed, glasses tinkled, the bride sparkled in orange, the groom beamed  and  conversations continued while we all partook of a delicious kashmiri repast where despite being curtailed by my vegetarianism, I came away feeling that baingan and lotus root should only be cooked as per  kashmiri specifications.
The dinner and drinks and dancing  that followed a couple of days later was  great fun and will be something Ania and I will remember for reasons more irregular than the nostalgia of watching young Tariq (whom i  met when he was not even eight) now  a strapping young man with a pretty wife, stepping into a life all of their own. It so happened that Ania and I wore identical sarees  on this occasion, right down to the golden peacock woven red border and this was  by sheer coincidence. So with much shared laughter, we captured this on  camera.
Just yesterday, Ania sent me a picture of the two of us at the mehendi ceremony with a header that exclaimed "I can't believe it but at the mehendi too we were dressed alike!"
I am putting both sets of pictures on the blog, because this is really quite an unlikely occurence.






Usually, whatever I end up wearing  uncannily  replicates the colours of the tapestry highlighting the wedding  pandal  and furniture. This time round, I seem to have tuned into the colour-vibrations of the mother of the groom, without quite knowing it! Maybe this could serve as an indicator of intuitive bonding between old friends...or even be the start of a new custom  wherein mothers of the groom or bride could colour coordinate  their clothes with their close friends?



6 comments:

  1. really uncanny coincidence. next time, the mother of the bride and groom should check with you first, or maybe you should check, so that you can be politically correct and let the mother shine, alone...

    you look lovely - i love the laughter spilling out of the first picture.

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  2. Haha talk about a happy happenstance!

    Can hear the very Ratna-ma'am-like-tone as I read every line :P

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  3. If Maids of Honour can be colour coordinated why not maters d' honour? (I hate the word matron, sounds v. matronly.)Fab pictures, all 4 sarees are delicious!

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  4. So cute and colourful and short and personal :)

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  6. Nice dress, really very colorful, thanks for share this post here with us.
    Enjoy wearing the designer sarees, bollywood sarees suits and many more at goonshopping. Buy Buy Designer Sarees Online at a very affordable rates and look stunning at party and other occasions.

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