Two of my friends had their weddings in close succession recently, one living in Hapur and one living in South Delhi.
Being a close friend of both the brides, I got invited to the smaller functions as well such as sangeet, cocktail, mehendi, and this gave me enough masala to pen down this blog.
The Hapur Sangeet
Sangeet, my favourite wedding ceremony, was strikingly different in both the places and worth the comparison. In Hapur, a small & upcoming town of UP, sangeet was more of a womanly affair, where women from neighbourhood and far all gathered to celebrate the wedding with song and dance. And no, this wasn’t the Yash Chopra sangeet with stage, DJ, choreographers and designer dresses, this was the traditional sangeet with Dholak, daris, humour and teasing.
Not dressed up as much, most of the woman wore saris and the bride wore a pretty suit. A professional sangeet group was called who came decked along with 2 kinds of dholak, mike and a good voice! They kicked of the ceremony with a beautiful Ganesh aarti followed by the traditional sangeet songs with some bollywood thrown in between. I never knew that such foot tapping music could be created by those 2 dholaks and the lovely traditional songs. Sounds of lathay di chadar and banna banni geet reverberated in the banquet hall where all of us had gathered.
Some enterprising women took the initiative to start the dance, standing up from their position and doing the extempore, bindaas matka jhatkas. Everyone was forced to shed their inhibitions, including the bride and were pulled up to show off their dancing skills, good or not. Hot Pakoras, Mithai & chai were passed around the gathering to keep the energy levels up and vocal chords moist.
One interesting thing that I noticed was that women would break into singing a song for each ceremony, yes there was surprisingly a song for each small thing that was done. The funny thing was that no matter how much you strained your ears, you would never understand the lyrics. Some women just hummed the tune (which was same for all ceremonial songs) rather than actually sing it!
The South Delhi Sangeet
A month later, I had to attend the sangeet of my south Delhi friend and much to my surprise, 15 days before the event, I was sent a detailed excel sheet asking me to prepare a dance on a ‘friends of the bride’ kind of a bollywood song. This apparently was a part of a whole family introduction song and a dance sequence which the bride’s family was planning to perform, a la Hum Saath Saath Hain theme. My performance fit somewhere towards the end after all the main family member’s introductions were done to the groom’s side. Interesting!
An elevated stage, DJ, bollywood, cocktails, emcee and designer lehengas greeted me at my friend’s sangeet. The over excited emcee introduced family members one after the other as they came and performed the neatly choreographed moves. The thumkas of aunties and uncles were greeted by hooting and thunderous clapping from the audience as the people tried to digest the image of their pot bellied uncle shake a leg on the stage. I too was called on the stage when my turn came.The elevated stage and the audience gave me butterflies in the stomach but nevertheless I managed to perform with my group of friends.
The performances were followed by cocktails and a sumptuous menu to choose from followed by the DJ.
While the ceremonies in both the towns were contrasting, each had their own interesting and fun points.
Which is your type of ideal wedding sangeet ceremony?