(Continued from here - Day 3)
Finally, we also made ourselves comfortable to see the actual proceedings of the marriage. The whole mandap where the marriage would take place was set up in the house's main courtyard. The Bride and the Groom were seated near the havan kund for pooja and the ceremony. Then the whole process commenced. The main point which we learned about the marriage was that the Paani Grahan sanskar (which is the most important ceremony of the whole marriage) was scheduled at an auspicious time determined by purohit ji and would be performed at that particular time itself, other things could be delayed, but not this one.
Sandeep's masi ji described us in detail about the whole sanskar and related it to the whole Hindu marriage concept which was quite a knowledgeable thing for us to learn. As the marriage ceremony was taking place, we all were having chat with the local people and Sandeep's relatives, sisters, cousins etc about the whole thing. After some time Jai Mala took place and both the Bride and the Groom put garlands into each other's necks and were tied by a cloth for 7 rounds (pheres) around the holy fire in the Havan Kund.
Then started the Pheres and purohit ji helped them perform each of those with the description of the each round in detail. It was quite an interesting to listen wherein he would tell the detailed significance of each Phera around the holy fire. In 4 pheras, the Groom would walk in front and the Bride in the rest of the pheras. The whole ceremony had some funny moments too, where Sandeep would have blushed however we couldn't see it because of his veiled face.
After a complete ceremony of just less than two hours, Sandeep's veil was lifted and we were able to see the face of the Groom, finally. Phew. Afterward, Poonam and Sandeep were accompanied to a room where they were allowed to sit comfortably after a long and a tiring ceremony. We could visibly see the sigh of relief on both of their faces. After all, getting married is a difficult job, at least in India.
Then we all decided to have lunch, which would become a tedious affair for all of us. It was raining so heavily so that we couldn't go to the kitchen and get the food. So we fetched a big thali from the house kitchen and asked a local guy to get us some food. He got us sizzling hot Rajma Chawal and us 5 people started eating from the same plate while holding the plate with one hand each and eating from the other, that too without a spoon. That became quite an incident for the locals there and they wondered about our friendship. Even Sandeep and Poonam were laughing at us when we were eating in that manner.
We enjoyed the food a lot, no matter what. Finally, it was the time for the Bidai ceremony and Bride and Groom were seated on chairs where the Bride's parents and some relatives touched the feet of both of them. Now this was a completely new thing for we people. We appreciated this ritual. As the Groom stood up to walk, everyone started looking for his shoes which were securely kept with one of our friends so that no one could steal them as the normal ritual says.
The guests quickly started moving and Groom and Bride were seated in their respective Palki and Doli which would be then carried down to the main road. After half an hour's climb down the hill, we reached the road and started for Solan. Meanwhile, we saw that Sandeep's Sehra was studded with glowing LEDs which would make it a very noticeable thing. We enjoyed a lot on seeing his Sehra.
After a small half an hour drive we reached Solan and came back to the marriage palace where the reception was about to take place. There we met Yogi's mother and his cousin Rocky. It was nice to meet aunty ji after a long time. My mom was also looking forward to meeting her. Although they would stay for a small time, but we enjoyed a lot. Then we got ready for the reception and went to the reception hall where a very big gathering was waiting to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds
We accompanied them to the hall and after getting some photos clicked had some dinner. I got quite tired after the whole day and in fact the late night reception too. But Saurabh was at his energetic best and was enjoying himself a lot. I went to sleep after some time as we had to reach Delhi the next day. The wedding was one of the best events which I had attended in a long time and would be totally unforgettable for a long time to come.