Friday morning. I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. Today was the day the wedding festivities officially kick started at my home. By the time I got ready, guests were slowly beginning to fill the house. Breakfast was served, and then we proceeded with the Matkor ceremony. It was a quick, short one. The elders in the family guided us with what needed to be done.
I was dressed in the suit I had bought to wear when I first met the boy’s family. I just put on the brightest dupatta I could find to cover my head, and voila – the look for the puja was complete! I was told I should not keep my wrists empty, so I put on some bangles I had bought from Lajpat Nagar years back.
Post the puja, my family members went over to the boy’s house with gifts for the boy and his family. This is called the Tilak ceremony at my place (it’s the equivalent of Sagan for a Punjabi household). While they were out, I sneaked a quick visit to the parlor to get my nails painted with my friends and sister in tow.
By the time we got back, it was time for Haldi to begin. I quickly changed into the yellow taant sari my mother had bought for me. Obviously, my mom helped with tying the sari. Ok, who am I kidding – she tied the entire thing
Haldi began with a visit from the boy’s family – they came bearing gifts for me. The visit was a sweet, but short one. They needed to rush back home as the Mehendi ceremony was starting at the boy’s house soon. After a small puja, I was finally seated next to my parents under the “Mandap” – mine was made at home using PVC pipes (the groom actually put it together!), which was then decorated with flowers. My father was the first one to apply haldi on me, followed by the rest of the family members. Haldi was a home-affair, with mostly relatives strewn across the house and lawn below.
Shortly after my relatives and friends had applied haldi on me, the chaos began. You see, in our house, there is literally a holi of haldi played! In a matter of a few seconds, the sound levels in the house increased by many a decibel. Evil laughter (“muahahaha! I’m going to getcha!”) and screams (“nahiiiii”) echoed throughout the house, and for a good 15 minutes – you could hear nothing but screaming and see people running. Everyone walked around armed with haldi, on the lookout for any faces that had not been smeared with yellow yet.
Photographs by Tarun Chawla Photography
You can read the whole thedelhibells series here: