Posted by: Prem Piyush | January 13, 2007

Exploring Kerala (1) – A traditional marriage


It was the occasion of our colleague Js’s marriage in her Kerala village on 13 January,2007. Month back, she wished to fix the marriage date specially on Saturday for our convenience of reaching there. On Friday night, after hectic office work, we 9 friends started off on a luxury bus for Kerala to attend her marriage on Saturday noon.

In morning, as expected, I really reached the land of coconuts.And our friend’s home was located on a small hill highland surrounded by acres of coconut trees, banana bushes, and fully grown pepper twigs. On the occasion of marriage, a typical Kerala house of her’s , looked magnificent with blue tents, close circuit TVs and a small make-shift mandap in aangan. All ladies hairs were full of white flowers. Gold jewellery, they wear abundantly with feminine elegance. Its was really bright when it comes about decorating bride ! I think (unlike north indian marriages, when the priorities distributes equally among other expects too) its the largest part of expense here, I am sure. Gents wore the traditional dresses.

Apart from in-home rituals of females, outside she got the blessings of grandfather. Barat( again a little late 😦 , reached as a no frills mass of approx hundred ( no band-party, dances or decorated cars). There was a simple walking entry of groom on the gate. ‘Only he’ was welcomed after washing feet, traditional tilak and with a mala. Rest followed. There was spreading of flower petals and sprinkling of rose water by younger girls.

Then he was taken staight to mandap. And a short documentary was to be made.

The hardly 3o minutes marriage of Hindu Kerala tradition was really nice one ( for couple’s and arranger’s point of view 🙂 ) and only to the points of importance, unlike north Indian marriages,Kerala Hindu Marriage - Mandap which is nothing less than endurance test ( of something !! ) .

A small puja was finished off by pandit ji alone at the mandap before the marriage. The quality of puja performed was really good and he followed the processes well. At the time of marriage, the pair was blessed by pandit ji, parents, and everything including kanyadan was done in standing posture only. Probably the mother plays the vital role in Kerala vivaha. She hold the both hands of bride standing from behind and did some rituals of marriage. Worth to note that in that small mandap, at this moment, someone moved away the big diyas away from the hanging silk aanchals.

Of course pandit ji’s universal fees was there, but he was a good pandit ji, settled for really less compared to our sidepandit ji’s ! Then just after varmala was performed. Without following long mantras within short time came the moment of capturing the souls with permanent colors. First the bride applied yellow small tilak on groom’s forehead and groom put with small vermilion (sindoor) on the maang. The whole world got captured within two souls and their four eyes were evident of the moment.

And at last three pheras around mandap . And finally a traditional Kerala Hindu marriage was complete.

The photo session started with the relatives and us. The lunch followed in the other pandal.

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