twice married.

1 Nov

i am a desperate tam bram after my stint in a desparate south indian college. from that moment on, i have been mesmerised by a lot of ‘our’ rituals, the most bewitching being our quintessential ‘iyer’ wedding rites.

i doubt u know the whole holy matrimony story line which is mighty cute. without further ado;
the boy’s eyes are tied- girl walks in looking sensational in kanjeevaram saree with all the bharat natyam head gear- boy’s eyes open and he pays tribute to his luck- girl blushes- girl sent to change saree (which is an every once in 143 seconds phenomenon)- boy allegedly angry, walks out of mandap with pal (whose sole job is to hold an umbrella and pose for pics) cos girl taking too long to dress up- boy threatens to go to kashi and become sanyaasi- f-in-law pleads him to stop (old dowry theory was part of this moment where f-in-law promised gifts to lure boy into marrying his daughter)- boy walks back in (cos men are desperate by nature:))- girl and boy teasingly exchange garlands- teasing involves muscles of men relatives who lift boy/girl making garland exchange process amusing for the spectator wives who stand blushing and cheering on their ‘mere woh’s’ machismo-girl and boy sit in a jhula where they are said to represent vishnu and lakshmi- they flirt, women sing, often out of tune- phir nazar nikaalte hain (u gotto watch this process, a blog post has its limitations)- kanyaadanam where girl sits on daddy’s lap(tear)- girl changes into the oh so gorgeous red nine yard saree and looks nothing short of mother divine- girl on dad’s lap again (finale approaching, tear tear)- dad repeats the mantra 3 times, once for the society, once for both families, once for the two lovers- the mantra essentially means that his daughter has now successfully been transplanted into the boy’s family- boy ties the very precious yellow tread with a gold M shaped locket (‘thaali’ its called-not as in the gujju thaali, this is freakking waaay more precious than that or any damn thing in the world to the girl from that moment on, i mean we would guard it with our life!!) – 3 knots tied again for society,family,each other respectively (cool concept i think)- this very moment is THE moment of happy tears and goosebumps (dont tell anybody, but i cry like a baby even if i dont know the bride or groom, i mean its that emo)- boy holds girl’s toe and has her walk few steps, as if into his life (hilt of cuteness)- an hour of mantra ucchaarann- expensive gifts- a green leaf full of mad food- few extra helpings of paal paaysam- a simple south indian paan- dreamless sleep for 3 hours minimum- evening ‘nalangu’= stupid 1 minute games between the newly weds (basically to bond, due to the arranged marriage scenario, these days of course its just for t.p. as one has bonded in great depth way prior to this ceremony, both, mentally and physically ;))

i have witnessed many a weddings befitting the above description. but recently, some extremely close buddies got hitched in this fashion, namely, madhuri and karpagavalli, my adorable x-roomies in bangalore.

my maddy and my k.k πŸ˜‰




i knew all along that they were devis…
but on their special day, this truth was reinstated.Β Β Β Β Β Β  it was surreal…
their faces are etched in my memory. my heart, to this day, becomes full when i think of their ‘thaali’ moment…
as if it were my own…








12 Responses to “twice married.”

  1. Amarja November 1, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    πŸ™‚ though i know all these rituals and the sequence like the back of my hand, it still sends goosebumps reading thru it. Probably that’s the cuteness that makes these rituals eternal.

  2. Karpagavalli November 1, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    So cutely nicely typed in!!! Love your way of telling about wedding in the most “Priya Mani” way… (I can’t choose any other “way” to put it in!)

    Yes, I definitely agree with the goosebumps part and crying part during the thaali part even if I don’t know them. πŸ™‚

    wow! awesome post πŸ™‚

  3. Vinod November 1, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    KK’s wedding was the first Iyer wedding I have ever attended. (I missed Maddy’s…. I was in the advanced course last november 😦 )
    OMG!!! i still remember that xpression on her when her dad was chanting the mantra for kanyadanam… she seemed to be doing her best to swallow off the tears…
    uff.. never thought the weddings are so intense…
    Priya, KK told me that Prasanna tied only 2 knots ..??? the third one was tied by someone from their family…

    Waiting for Priya’s wedding…

  4. Jaison November 1, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    I’ve decided and there is no going back now. I’m going to marry you.

  5. Pratibha November 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    The third knot is always tied by the boys sister ( in case he does not have his own sister, his cousin does it) this signifies acceptance of the marriage by the whole family! ( of course it also means that the poor girl not just marries the boy, but his whole family!;))

    Awesome Priya, scene for scene interpretation pannirukenga, but “kashi yatre oda” meaning vera…, it goes like this… the branhamachari boy (remember earleir marrieages were solemnised when both were young) leaves for Kashi for sayyaas initaition… on the way, the girl’s father meets his, entreats him to complete his other ashramas in life before taking sanyaas and promises his daughter’s hand in marriage, who will be his “dharma patni” – companion who will walk by you as you disharge your duties in this world! πŸ™‚
    the Oonjal is awesome… agree taht the songs are oh-so-out-oftune, but one MUST listen to hte orignal Seetha Kalyaanam & Gauri Kalyaanam to really understand how beautiful they were meant to be… its all on Youtube… please do hear it, i do have my own fave singers of both, will post it if you want to know… and BTW, good idea to catch hold of a few AOL girls with good voices and learn these songs… can sing at all Tam Brahm and other weddings too ( if they so wish) can make it AOL wedding signature tunes, like some of out satsangh signature tunes, ( Bhagyada Lakshmi, Abhayam Abhayam Amma) etc.

    πŸ™‚ was Madhuri’s a tam brahm wedding too…?
    You also seem to have a porposal here, Gilrl! Write blog, get married eh?? ;);)
    Let me know if you accepting it, I’ll get ready to dress you again, only this time as a bride, not a dancer! πŸ™‚

  6. Suman November 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    V Good jist of a tam-bram wedding πŸ™‚ typical Priya mani style. i think we should get to know the scientific reasons behind each process πŸ˜‰ so that that bhav can be there when anyone does it. What say?

  7. APARNA November 1, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    ha ha.. i have never see a marriage in this way. All i care in any marriage was the food.

    May be next time i will observe properly πŸ˜‰

  8. Sharon Padmanabhan November 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    An Amazing narration of a South Indian Marriage….. I haven’t attended either of the marriages mentioned above but then being a south indian myself… i have had the priviledge of attending many many South Indian Marriages….. These rituals are just tooo long for someone just attending the function…..wishing it all got over soon…..!!! but then its just so very emotional….. wid all the very many different things that are said and done….!!!! I love the food though… PAYASAM, Tilli Saaru, Vangi Baath n so on and so forth…..!!!!

  9. vini November 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    πŸ™‚ Priya awesome post… Felt was in sooper fast marriage train and ditto, felt that emotional bit πŸ™‚ Love u so muchhhhhhhhh :)Awesome post…captured and tuned the rite chords..

  10. srikanth November 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    KK was the most inquisitive bride in all the tam bram weddings that I have ever attended ..Priya ,, they have set great standards ,, and all of us expect you to beat them πŸ™‚ .. waiting πŸ™‚ waiting πŸ™‚

  11. eben November 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    what you write is anyways always amazing… me thinks you desperately wants to get the married.!!!! haina..?? πŸ˜‰ its been going on since a while…!!

  12. Jaideep June 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    well FOOD appeals me a lot:) had the best food at KK wedding.
    yup it’s nice to have this many rituals lots of people gathered around some happy some sad(inside to full tush khush) lots of girls to be married in sari attire (amazingly stunning ;)).
    love the traditional south indian wedding

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