Disclaimer: If there are any Punjabis reading this post, my request is that you do not get offended by the use of the word ‘Punju’. I use it not as a slang, rather affectionately. Besides, Punjabis seem to be an integral part of my life. I’ve had three roommates during the course of my stay in Bombay and all three have been Punjabis! That too by random stroke of luck b/c I didn't know any of them before I started living with them.
I went for a Punjabi wedding this weekend, that of a colleague. The families of both the bride & the groom are loaded, if you know what I mean, so the wedding had all the chances of being a full-blown tamasha that north Indian weddings can become. But this wedding was quite classy & subtle. It was very unlike most Punjabi weddings in Delhi which are all about showmanship.
There was no DJ at the wedding. They had light instrumental music playing in the background, with intermittent smatterings of the Gayatri Mantra.
The decorations were muted & classy. There were lights strung around & hanging from the trees but lending just the right amount of festivity to the place. The color theme was cream, powder pink & mauve, with pillars & chairs decorated with cloth, ribbons & flowers of the same colors. Not one piece of decoration was over-powering to the senses.
Surprisingly, there weren’t many people at the wedding. The men were dressed mainly in grey & black suits, or cream sherwanis. No men strutting around in blue, green, orange, red heavily-embroidered kurtas & golden dupattas. And the women...they were superbly dressed! The saris were decorative but very elegant. I couldn’t spot a single woman who was dressed over-the-top. Even the colors on display were muted & elegant….white, off-white, baby pink, fuschia, onion pink, aqua blue, teal, sea green, dull magenta. There was bling alright, but strictly under control.
The piece-de-resistance though was the bride’s lehenga. She wore a Sabyasachi lehenga that cost – hold your breath – 70,000!!! It was a beautiful red, green & peacock blue lehenga with a lot of golden embroidery on it – all mixed in a way only Sabya knows how to! I don’t know if it was worth 70,000 but it was definitely exotic. And like most of Sabyasachi's creations, you probably wouldn't like it so much when you lay eyes on it first, but you would want to look at it a second time and love it for it's sheer exquisiteness, and for the fact that his stuff is so different from that of other designers.
The most amusing factor at the wedding was the priest. He was reading mantras in Sanskrit, then translating them to English. He was also giving himself too much importance & started yelling at people, mainly the kids to behave! He kept exhorting parents to keep the kids away, he even went to the extent of being rude to the bride’s brother! He had a mike to speak into so everyone could hear the wedding proceedings, and he kept yelling at people to shut up so they could hear him speak!
I love Punjabis for their joie-de-vivre & the gregarious, warm-hearted, hospitable, fun-loving people they are. And this was a wedding I would remember not for the spectacle, but for the elegant, classy affair that it was.