Shaadi in corona times: Make way for barati masks and PPE suits in bridal trousseau
Indian weddings can never be sans shenanigans. So now that it’s all about shaadi in the time of corona, and the designer masks having become an essential fashion trend for the bride and the groom, it’s the turn of the baratis to show some swag! “My friend recently got married and I had got different masks stitched for every event starting from the sangeet ceremony to the wedding night. For sangeet, we had a theme where all the relatives on the bride’s side wore a mask reading Team Bride, and for the shaadi, our masks said Congratulations! We even gifted the married couple a mask which had Just Married embroidered on it, right after the pheras (seven vows of Hindu marriage). And, they loved it,” says Neeharika Bhatt, a Delhiite.
Weddings in the time of corona have made the pandits, conducting the rituals, wear gloves while performing the necessary ceremonies. “Humne toh heat-resistant gloves pehen ke shaadi sampann karayi hai. Ab jab koi pair chuyega toh aashirwaad ke liye haath uthna toh svabhavik hai. Isliye humne pehle se hi gloves pehen liye the (I opted for heat resistant gloves to solemnise a Hindu wedding. Because often the younger ones touch our feet, and inadvertently I end up placing my hand on their head to bless them. So I wore gloves before going for the wedding),” says Lakshman Minoti, a Delhi-based priest.
The role of the bride’s sisters has also evolved at such weddings. Neha Bindal, a Gurugram resident — who collected e-money in return for the tradition of juta chupai (hiding of the groom’s shoes to ask for money in return), says, “From sprinkling water on guests to their welcome at bhaiya’s wedding, and pumping sanitiser in every guests’ hands at didi’s wedding, I have seen everything change (laughs)!”
And then comes the bridal trousseau that used to be once packed with bangles and designer suits. These now have an interesting essential. “We packed two PPE suits and matching masks and gloves according to the colour of the dresses in our daughter’s bridal trousseau. It felt unusual to pack such a trousseau, and we all even laughed about it, but we want our daughter to be safe and happy,” says Anish Tandon, a Gurugram-resident who had over 200 guests virtually join his daughter’s marriage, to bless the newly-wed bride.
Author tweets @FizzyBuddha