Savita Weds Shivraj | Milaap

Savita Weds Shivraj

“An Indian wedding is an occasion for joy, not just for the bride and groom but for all 25,000 of their closest relatives and friends.” I came across this on a post of someone who was on a research spree on Indian weddings and thought to myself, “Very apt indeed!” I was recently invited to attend a Karnataka wedding in one of the villages that was a little far from the village I resided in. With 70 percent knowledge of the traditional Assamese wedding and zero knowledge of anything beyond that, I decided to make the guest appearance.

By now I could navigate my way from Ghataprabha to Kabbur, two extremely important villages for me in Belgaum, Karnataka. Two of my local guardians live here; guardians because they have guided and taken care of me like their daughter. Sitavva and Aruna. I call them Amma (Mother). The wedding I was going to attend was of Aruna Amma’s daughter-in-law’s sister, Savita. So, yes I added to the number I cited above. I certainly fell under the close (new) friends’ category. After Amma’s family finished packing all that they would need at the wedding, we headed for the bride’s home in Chikodi, another village.

Savita’s engagement took place 4 months before the wedding. The entire family had actively taken part in arranging the marriage with her soulmate after the horoscope of the two matched. On our way to her place, Aruna Amma narrated the sequence of rituals that had already taken place like the Lagnapatrike or the gifts of essentials for the bride. I was looking forward to the unfolding of the upcoming rituals in the event. So, here are some of the moments that unfolded right when I pointed my phone camera to document or rather cherish the colourful union.

The best dealer of bangles was called in with their most prized possession, green coloured glass bangles,  to the bride, Savita's residence. Her family made sure to underscore the elegance of all the ladies in the house. Elders said that it was one of the important features at a Karnataka wedding.

The ladies queued up after the first lady (of course the bride) to flaunt the symbols of good luck and prosperity coupled with a few gold ones to add on to the look.

While the father-daughter duo is busy with their job, Savita and her cousin (right) are ready with tea for everyone. Prakruti, Savita's niece (left) is just probably wishing for some more bangles.

Betel leaves on top of rice grains are laid on a mat for the Haldi ceremony. This is to ensure that the bride has a fresh start to her journey of prosperity and good fortune.

Haldi, as one of the most important rituals, was started off by lighting the lamp (sign of positivity and goodness). The eldest lady applied vermilion (lifeline of any Hindu wedding) and mustard oil on the bride's head and then they smeared Haldi on her.

While the big day's preparation kept everyone awake, Prakruti and the bride got their much-needed beauty sleep

We made sure Savita munches on a quick snack, chun muri, early in the morning before she tied the knot.

The last-minute prep is also about wearing the freshly arrived Gajra.

Savita's Ajji (grandmother) is dressed up in her favourite saree for the occasion.

Twinning is the trend!

Welcome to the family! The ritual here was done between the bride's brother and the groom's father. Both are wearing the new Gandhi caps gifted by each other.

Savita's smile depicted every emotion she was going through right before embracing the new phase of her life.

Savita was guided by the groom's family to the Shiva Mandir, the marriage venue, where everyone awaited the newly-wed couple.

The marriage had brought together the gang for the much-awaited catching up.

Essentials gifted by the bride's family for their daughter's new household

Friends and relatives as mentioned in the beginning.

They insisted on getting a picture with me but the result could have been better if it was candid. Their Chandler Bing expression was on every time my friend took pictures of us.

And then Shivraj, the groom and Savita got married. The ceremony was quickly concluded by tying the Mangalsutra.