Sawai Singh Rajpurohit’s Wedding…..

Most everyone has seen a Punjabi wedding or a Bengali wedding (atleast in extended 3 hr long technicolor tearjerker/romantic comedies)…but not a Rajasthani wedding, and definitely not a traditional Rajasthani wedding(====>>reasons to follow). Therefore, when rumour was that a certain Mr. Sawai Singh Rajpurohit is going to get wed in aamchi Rajasthan,I for one made up my mind not to miss such a chance. But the first thought in my mind however, was ,”Here’s old Savvy up to his evergreen pranks”. Nor was I alone, several other Iconoclasts( COEPians miight just recognise us from a wierd ,but loveable, orange T-shirt with a hood..;)..) were more forthright with Sawai and told him pretty pointedly that until we had an actual invite in hand none of us were going to even believe him, coming to his wedding was several stages apres that…Anyways, to cut a long story short, Sawai handed us (Mumbai branch of Iconoclasts) our invites in person, and nebulous plans were fixed, holidays applied for, and the date in the calendar marked for Sawai’s wedding…

The shaadi was to happen on the 19th of June( initially , we thought it would be on the 18th ,but with Sawai, such things are not to be grudged…especially if you consider that the wedding was actually at 2:00 a.m. in the morning) and since the venue was the quaint and suitably remote interior village of Kunwarda , we ( Das,Roshan(Dorli),Kunal(K.T),Avinash(Avya),Pintya, Sachin(Kesri) and self) were all set to leave on the 16th by a hired car…So we finally piled into our hired Chevrolet Tavera and headed Rajasthan-ward at about 11:30 p.m. on 16th evening(?)… After a long and memorable drive punctuated by stops at local dhabas for food and booze (except in Modi-land which is DRY..:(..) we finally arrived at Kunwarda on the 17th evening at about 10 p.m…after a quick word with Savvy at his home we shot off to where we were being put up for the night, The Royal Rajwada at Bhadrajun (pretty fancy it was , I might add), a quick wash-up to get rid of 24 hours of continuous driving, and then back to Savvy’s for dinner…

Now, a traditional Rajasthani wedding proceeds as follows:
First, the prospective In-laws meet the son/daughter-in-law. At this stage,the bride and the groom make do with photographs. Then, they(the parents) consent to the wedding and the time and date. Once fixed the marriage preparations run parallelly and separately at each end , until finally, the Groom and his baaraat party reach the village of the girl, and the actual marriage ceremony with complete pheras and everything is performed. Now, the baaraat party does not include any of the Groom’s lady relatives therefore even your Mom and your Sister aren’t present at the actual shaadi ceremony (assuming that you are a traditional Rajasthani groom). Not only that even though your Dad accompanies you on the trip to the girl’s village, at the time of the marriage even he is not supposed to be present there. Given that Rajasthani weddings usually have their shubh-muhurats late in the night/earrrly in the morning (2:30ish (a.m.) in this case)…and, that we had to rather inconvenience the Bride’s parents and hassle them into allowing us to be present at the time of the pheras…also, factoring in that the bride was veiled completely even at the time of the ceremonies(I believe even Savvy only really saw/met his bride after the ceremonies)… you get a flavour of how traditional the wedding was , and how unlikely it is that such events will be part of the next Mira Nair Bollywood tearjerker entitled “Desert wedding”…..

Once at Savvy’s we were treated to a traditional Rajsthani dance by the lady members of Sawai’s family which is all part of the marriage ceremony. We also sampled some staple rajasthani fare esp the “Dal vaati”(?)..which is a ball shaped roti like fare rather reminiscent of the Bihari “littha”. At the end of which, someone insisted that we shake our leg to the music as well and, well, we did!!…

Ceremony over, we tootled back to the Royal Rajwada to spend the night. But my description of my trip would be sorely disappointing if I did’nt spend some time describing the fascinating history, the amazing beauty and the colourful characters we met at the Rajwada…

The rest of the story…

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