Sunday, April 26, 2009

Haldi ,Mehndi

The Haldi and Mehndi ceremony is a big event . The Mehndi program is also called Sangeet program in some families .The intensity of these functions varies in families .

Haldi program is something many look forward to as there is a flow of liquor as well as a variety of food . I remember the description of one such function in Agri or Koli community narrated by a free lance cook , Mr. Sawant , who used to be called by us for our get togethers. I had asked him how to calculate the quantity of mutton to be bought for a party . He said that for our party a rough estimate of 250 gm per person is the norm , but in those communities especially for Haldi he calculated about 1 to 1.5 kg per person as they are big drinkers and eaters. He had cooked 100 - 150 kg mutton in some functions

We had a simple function and had no drinks and a vegetarian menu as the Devkarya was in the morning . The ladies apply turmeric paste in coconut oil with leaves of mango trees .

The bridegroom is made to sit on a wooden ' paat ' decorated around by ' rangoli '. Turmeric is applied to the feet , knees , elbows and face . Once everyone has applied in this manner , a few enthusiastic ladies then literally manhandle him by applying the turmeric paste by hand , [ traditionally it was meant to be applied in such a way that the yellow color remains till the wedding and till another ceremony after the wedding called ' Haldi utravne ' which means removing the Haldi ] . After this 5 ladies give him a token ceremonial bath and then he can get ready after a wash . That is the end of this ceremony after which he is not supposed to leave the house .

We also had a function called ' Chura Bharne ' that means putting on the bangles especially the auspicious green ones . This is normally held at the brides house by their family members , but we were fortunate to host it for Jean and this gave us immense satisfaction and a rehearsal for Supriya's function in future . Jean was very cooperative and enthusiastic throughout even though they all were tired after a long journey from Hyderabad . June was very interested in knowing all the goings on and was very much involved in the proceedings . I do not have any good snaps as I had taken a lot of video clips .

Mehndi or sangeet is some families is a program of singing and dancing when a professional team of mehndi artist is hired for applying the bridal mehndi , which takes quite some time ,

as well as other ladies get beautiful designs of mehndi applied .

Anandita too wanted it -----Men folk also join in the singing and merriment and all enjoy the cocktails and good food.

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