January 16 - 22, 2014
Kundan and I left our home, on January 14, for a 5-week trip to India. We reached Mumbai early on the morning of January 16, and proceeded directly to the Jolly Gymkhana in Ghatkopar, where we stayed for seven nights.
Somewhat like country clubs in the United States, gymkhanas have been functioning in India, since the British Raj, as exclusive, membership-based, social and sporting clubs.
Jolly Gymkhana started in 1950, as a cricket club. Since then it has blossomed into a full-fledged social and sporting club, with 5,700 members.
The gymkhana has a health club, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, badminton courts, tennis courts, squash courts, a billiard room, a skating rink, a card room, a children's park, a bar, a restaurant, banquet halls, a members' lounge with a reading room, and seven hotel-style rooms.
We were in Mumbai for the wedding of Prapti, the elder
daughter of Kundan's cousin, Kuldip.
The wedding was a multi-function event held at various
locations in Mumbai, over four days. It all started with Vivah Khel (God's wedding), organized by the groom's family, on
January 17. It consisted of prayers, live music and some dancing.
|God's wedding (Vivah Khel)|
On January 19, was Mehndi
(Henna). Hired artists arrived in the morning at the bride's home to draw intricate
designs with Mehndi on the hands and arms of the bride and her female relatives
It was followed by live music, and a feast, both held under a colorful shamiana (tent).
|Live music at the bride's place|
|Live music at the bride's place|
In the evening the bride and other youngsters had been
invited by the groom's family to a dance club for an evening of dancing.
Next morning (January 20) started with Mandap Puja at the bride's home.
Assisted by a priest, the bride and her family invoked God's blessing for the
wedding. Then the bride's female relatives applied a scented paste on the
bride's body and blessed her.
|Mandap puja at the bride's home|
|Female relatives bless the bride|
The evening program started with live music.
Then the bride and the
groom exchanged rings for their engagement.
|The groom &the bride exchange rings|
A few rituals were followed by dinner and several dance
number performed by the bride, the groom and members of their parties.
|The bride and the groom dancing|
|A group dance|
The wedding was held on January 21. Led by a live musical
band, and the groom, the barat
(groom's party) arrived at the venue. They were welcomed by the bride and her
|The bride welcomes the groom|
After initial rituals, bride was brought to the mandap
in a doli
carried by her male cousins on their shoulders.
|The bride being carried by her mail cousins to the wedding mandap|
With chanting of mantras
by two priests, various rituals were performed by the bride and the groom. The
most important ritual consisted of seven rounds by them around the holy fire,
and exchanging of the wedding vows.
After a few more rituals the wedding was over, and the
bride and the groom departed with the groom's party.
|The bride & the groom departing to get ready for the reception|
A couple of hours later was the reception, the final
event of wedding. Also an elaborate stage had been set up for the purpose.
Family members and friends took turns to go up the stage to greet the new
couple and their parents, while eight hundred guests enjoyed a multi-course
|Doshis of Anand with the new couple, and their parents|
Post-wedding rituals were performed at the bride's home
on January 22, and the next day we left for Anand, Gujarat.