Ruchika & Sandeep – wedding moments
Indian weddings can be a two day affair sometimes and on other occasions it may be a long stretched out process for days. But all those yearlong preparations, shopping, festivities and the whole shebang are to make that one day perfect when the bride and the groom promise to look for each other no matter what and tie an eternal bond of love and friendship.
It was still a one day’s wait for Sandeep and Ruchika until the nuptial day of 31st Jan. The ceremony of the Seemant Pujan was to take place on the night before. Traditionally, the ritual of Seemant Pujan takes place on the boundary of the bride’s village where the bride’s family welcomes the groom and his family with a lot of fervor. With changing times perhaps the way in which rituals are performed might have changed but the emotions still remain the same.
Ruchika dressed up for the ceremony was waiting for the arrival of Sandeep and his family. Sandeep had to travel from US to Hyderabad and then to Pune for the wedding. It looked like he was going to be late. Ruchika was counting every second on her watch!
Sandeep and his family arrived and everybody on Ruchika’s side was in some kind of a hurry to welcome the guests like some sleepy town woke up in a blissful delight. There was hustle and bustle everywhere.
After an enthusiastic welcome a set of chaurang and couple of pats was led out on the stage. Sandeep now took the center stage on the chaurang and bride’s parents sat on the pats. Bride’s mother did a kumkum tilak (aukshvan). Happiness was all over her face as she washed his feet for she was welcoming a new member in her family someone who would be taking care of her daughter for her entire life.
Seemant Pujan was followed by Haldi program which holds a lot of significance in marriage ceremony. Haldi serves as a cleanser for the body and soul and signifies the bride’s preparation and welcoming into adult married life.
After that, everybody had a delicious meal. Guests had now forgotten the tiresome journey as they burped. It was time to gear up for the Sangeet, to bring out all those thumkas and latkas as the DJ spun the disk and the folklore began dancing to its tune. The little kids with their well set up and magnificent dance performance stole the show.
The morning sun was about to bring light into lives of Ruchika and Sandeep as the day had arrived when the two were going to tie a naught of marriage. Preparations began early in the morning for a long day ahead.
First of the rituals to be performed was ‘Saptapadi’. With the chants of Vedic mantras, couple is loosely tied with a long cloth and they take the vows taking rounds around the holy fire. With each step promises were made to protect each other and pledge to share happiness and sorrow together. Sandeep then tied a mangalsutra around Ruchika’s neck and applied Sindoor on her forehead. A radiant smile on her face and glowing Sindur Ruchika gave the impression of a complete bride!
Kanyadan , the ritual of giving the daughter away was then performed. Father gives away his daughter to the groom so that both can start together a life of Dharma, Artha and Kama. The groom promises the bride’s father to treat his daughter with love and respect and support her in sickness and in health.
It was time for bride’s brother to take part in the proceedings. The ceremony of Kanpilini is humorous and light moment in a marriage ceremony. At the same time, signifies something special. The brother put lahya on his sister’s hands assuring her that he will always be there for her. Then he pulled his brother-in-law’s ear warning him playfully he better take care of his sister and everybody had their share of laughter!
Bride and groom took blessings from elders in the family for their journey together. The time had arrived for the moment everyone on the bride’s side had dreaded for. Daughter who they had raised with so much love and care was about to go away to her new home. Tears rolled down from the eyes of bride and her relatives as they bid adieu to the new couple wishing them good luck and happiness for this new turn in their life.
All the laughter, excitement, gusto, emotions, merriment and sadness had come to an end. It concluded with glee and sobbing complimenting each other!