Diwali has come and gone. But we are still caught in that festive mood.
And the reason for celebration is a cousin sister’s wedding.
Fun and frolic. Zeal and zest. Vibrant and vivacious. Rituals and merry making.
Nothing short of a carnival.
A carnival … that is going to last a month approximately.
A carnival … half of which will take place in my native Mandi and the other half in Chandigarh where the groom’s family stays.
The day when the family will attend the “Path da Bhog”. Some days back, all of us had gone to the Gurudwara Sahib … to tell the priests to start the recital of the Holy “Shri Guru Granth Sahib” specially to mark the beginning of the ceremonies of this wedding. The recital was “Sahaj” … suited to the schedule of the reader ... and will finish tomorrow. This will be followed by a short prayer “Ardaas” … the word of the “Guru” will be received and blessings sought … to ward off all obstacles.
Friday, the 11th of this month.
“Kirtan” Ceremony. The ladies of the family and the congregation will collect together to sing hymns and prayers. The girl will be given a small token representation by the congregation. A small prayer book and praying accessories. Like telling her that the good Lord is by her side as she steps in a new world. Like asking her to keep The Almighty in her mind always. Like showing her that she is not alone. That she is loved and blessed.
Saturday, the 12th of this month.
The most awaited evening amongst all the functions of “Phase Mandi”. The “Bangle Ceremony”. The Dinner. The DJ. Both the “nanka” … the maternal and “dadka” … the paternal families will get together for a bash. The girl will receive the red and green glass bangles from all the girls and ladies there which she will wear till her wedding day. The tinkling of so many bangles wards off the negative energies, brings good luck and fortune.
Sunday, the 13th of this month.
The Dham. Traditional lunch. Prepared only by Brahmin chefs … “the botis” in copper utensils. The cooking will start from Saturday evening itself. Served in leaf plates … “the pattals” to people who sit on the floor. It will be a seven course meal. Rice will be consumed … with “meetha” … sweet made of “boondi”; “sepu badi” … local traditional dish of Mandi; “khatta” … a tangy dish made of pumpkin; “rajmah” … the kidney beans; “matar paneer” … a tasty cheese and peas dish with lots of gravy; “daal makhani” … the black lentil; and finally “the jhol” … curd cooked with turmeric and spices. Mouth watering and delicious.
“Phase Mandi” ends here.
And “Phase Chandigarh” will have to wait. As “Phase Mandi” invitations are still pending and I can hear my aunt panicking in the other room. That means I should get ready now and have a trip round the town extending hearty and cordial invitations.