I have been a person who has rarely bothered with looks. As a child or a teen my only visit to the saloon has been to get a haircut, that’s it. Later after repeated failures in job interviews it suddenly dawned on me that I had to be presentable. It is only then that I started visiting a saloon regularly and started using a lipstick and kajal. My wardrobe has also been simple. Basic clothes which are simple and comfortable. No,I do not mean to demean anybody who loves to dress up. The purpose of the prologue is to show my own follies. My wedding was the first (and the last time)time I went in for a facial. But otherwise there was barely any makeup. I was fortunate enough that my better half shared my views and endorsed my simple living.
Why these thoughts you may ask?
The past few months I have visited many weddings of our own community and the show and the pomp has dazzled me to say the least. There has been a gross ‘bollywood’isation of weddings. Now weddings are a five-day ritual. One day is for ‘mehendi’, the next is for sangeet, the third day is the ‘phool muddi’ grossly translated to flowers and ring. Actually it is the welcome of the grooms party and introductions. Fourth day is the actual wedding and the fifth day the grooms family may have a satyanarayana vrata at their home if they so wish. And while the sangeet and the mehendi are elaborate the actual wedding rituals are rushed.
I understand the need for mehendi. My community does not have a ritual of mehendi but now it is common. I endorse it. If the bride wants to have it, why not. My real objection is not to have a show of it. Is it really necessary to have a hall booked for it and the accompanying decorations, the dress etc. Same goes for the sangeet. The arrangements, the coordinated costumes, the choreography….is it all needed? So much of pomp and so much of valuable resources wasted. My nephew says it is the ‘insta’ culture. Your friends have done it and so do you. But what about those who want to do it but can’t afford to? Either they or their parents take up a loan or blow off their life savings. Which makes me come back to my original question, ‘Is so much of pomp needed?’ Which also makes me wonder where are we actually heading. It also lead me to read a little about what actually is a grhasta ashram. What is the need of marriage and is there any real significance of wedding rituals.
Firstly we are spirit souls. This body is an outer covering given to us for God realisation.
The soul does not have a gender, This body has. Those who had less God consciousness got the body of a female. For God realisation we must have the mood of rendering service. The females have more propensity of servitorship hence the body of a female to those less inclined to bhakti. It DOES NOT mean that the males are superior. Each has its own set of duties/ dharma for God realisation.
Each has freedom to dress up as they wish to. By dressing up I mean the use of make up. Make up has been in used right from the olden days. Only difference being that the ingredients of make up were home-made and natural as compared the chemical ones in vogue now. Provided that their inclination does not lead them away from the purpose of life which is God realisation.
Each house had its own gym. Yes, you heard it right. By the time you milked the cows,ground your grains or ground your masalas, you would have had your required amount of cardios. And of course you walked everywhere you wanted. So there was no real need of physical training.
Yes, there used to be sangeet. The sangeet was more of bhakti based dance. When you used to dance to kirtan in gay abandon and not to some choreographer’s instructions.
The purpose of a man and a woman coming together is not just to procreate but to serve. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, the grhastas have to serve the brahmacaris, and the vanprastis .
More in the coming weeks………
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own and do not mean to offend anyone.