Continued from last post
We four from Chennai had a good nostalgic time in Trichur, apart from the wedding, visiting old places and landmarks and of course praying at Vadakkunathan Temple and Thiruvambadi Temple. We also visited the cloth shop which still bears the name of my husband’s uncle’s ( T R Rama Iyer) and made some purchases.
It was in the summer of 2010 Kartik proposed to Danielle, and she accepted while they were holidaying in Rome. As soon as the wedding date was fixed by Danielle we were all informed. I felt very happy and thrilled and wondered whether I would be able to attend the wedding. As things turned out, I had to make plans to attend another family wedding before I could turn my attention to travelling to the US in June 2011.
|Rajesh's wedding at Trichur|
In the midst of mentally planning as to who would be ready to escort me to Chicago, I received a wedding invitation from Chitra (the daughter of my husband’s brother Viswanathan) informing me her sons were getting married in April this year; the eldest son Rajesh, on the second at Trichur; and Kartik, the younger one on the 17th at Trivandrum. We were all happy to get this news. I felt really happy for Chitra, who went through a bad phase when she lost her husband in a road accident a few years back. Both Rajesh and Kartik then were in their teens, still students. She herself was seriously injured with innumerable fractures.
It took many months and many surgeries for her to come back to an almost normal and healthy life. In spite of all this she brought up her two sons, as well mannered citizens, giving them very good education. With the moral support of her husband’s family and her own parents and brother, she was able to do this, all the while continuing to work in a bank. What I admire in Chitra is that she has no self pity and she has come out of her ordeal as a very brave person.
A few days before I got the invitation, I had been told by Viswanathan that Rajesh’s marriage was more or less settled, the boy-meet-girl being over and only a few minor details to be finalized. But Kartik’s wedding taking place immediately afterwards surprised me.
When I called Chitra to congratulate her I got to know why. Kartik’s was a love marriage. He had met Parvati when he was a final year student doing his Engineering course and she was a fresher. Maybe it was love at first sight. Once Kartik finished his studies and moved away from Trivandrum they had no chance of seeing each other. They kept in touch through letters and mobiles and decided to be together for life. Chitra gave full support to them on one condition - that they get married only after Rajesh got married. Kartik by this time had started working in San Francisco and settled there. Now that Rajesh’s wedding was fixed, Chitra felt that there was no reason to make Parvati and Kartik wait any longer.
A wedding in the family and that too in Trichur, was carrot enough for me to decide to go there. So it was for Raji, Muthu and Raja. And we were off to Trichur; we had a grand time enjoying the ceremonies which lasted two days. Yes Rajesh’s wedding was a typical South Indian one with the vritham and the kappu kettal for the bride done side by side the morning before the day of the wedding, and the reception the same evening.
Till a few years back the trend was to hold the reception in the evening of the actual wedding day, after the thali kettal, and ammi mithikkal —the main and important rites of the wedding. Nowadays, to suit the conveniences of renting the wedding hall, the reception is held on the wedding eve itself!
Whatever that may be, the general opinion of this wedding was that “Trichur has not witnessed this grand a wedding in the recent past”. Without doubt it was one, with live nagaswaram and typical Kerala cuisine, with different menus for each meal for two days. Not only that, the wedding hall -- a big one -- was packed to its full capacity. An indication of how popular Chitra is in her workplace was the fact that her colleagues at the bank in Ernakulam, 80km away, all turned up for the wedding, from the manager down to the security man.
|At T. R. Rama Iyer's cloth shop|
|Kartik's wedding at Trivandrum. Chitra is seen on the left - in the brown saree.|
We were unable to attend Kartik’s wedding. I was told that Kartik’s wedding was a one-day affair with the pudava koda in the morning and the reception the same evening. Yes, the Nair wedding is known as the pudava koda- (gifting a pudava by the bridegroom to the bride). The wedding rites take only half an hour or so.
The bridegroom was received by the bride’s brother and seated at the dais where the bride joined him. After receiving the mundu nerithu from the bridegroom, they exchanged garlands and rings. There was no vritham no malaimattal no oonjal. I was told the wedding feast was a large spread with all the Kerala special prathamans and vegetable dishes.
Three weddings in the family of Trichur Ramakrishna Iyer, great-great grandfather to the three bridegrooms. Each one was conducted differently, but thoroughly enjoyed by one and all.