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Wedding with a Difference

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I just received a Wedding Invite from one of my Ex colleagues for his daughter's wedding to be celebrated at Bangalore next week.I was pleasantly surprised to see Radha Kalyanam as part of the Program schedule.After Poorvangam "Radha Kalyanam" is being arranged in the same wedding hall for three hours before lunch, a day prior to Muhurtham.I felt it is a good move worthy of emulation.Anyway lakhs are being spent on weddings and this could help the Bhagavathar community also.May be it is already happening but for me it is a new experience.

both my niece's weddings had the afternoon fill with religious discourses.

the older one, five years ago, had a discourse of ideal vedic samskara. it took about a couple of hours, but the discourse was top notch.

the diskhithar, aware of the post lunch soporofic, went out of his way to hold the audience attention. he was a star performer, spicing his discourse with humour mixed with wisdom.

just a month ago, there was another discourse. due to ailments, i did not attend. this dikshithar started off his lecture, with the warning that full attention was expected for the welfare of the soul.

also he made it very clear, that NO ONE will be permitted to leave the hall, for fear of damnation.

the audience reacted by falling asleep soon, much to the chagrin of the dikshithar and also the host.

i say, customer service is the key to the success of any venture.

the second dikshithar was arrogant and felt he knew everything.

the first, treated this venture as a service and won.

i am all for a useful pastime in the lay period between lunch and reception. but let us do it wisely and not demean ourselves by demanding an adherence to faith based initiatives.

thank yo.
Thanks Mr Kunjuppu.your point well taken.My feeling was that the money will be better spent than on Film Musis Orchestra and other ostentations.But we should take care of other aspects as you have rightly mentioned.
I think Narayanaswami sir is right.

In my cosuin's marriage, we had a "sadhas", which went on very well. Many clarified their doubts on sastras. In some other marriage, they had lalitha sahsranama parayana. My mom's cousin's elder daughter marriage happened last year. They too celebrated that with radha kalyana. They perform radha kalyana every year at mayiladuthurai. Instead of spending many to music troops, we have an alternate na... We should encourage this culture atleast.

just to be on the same level.

i am talking about the wedding afternoon, immediately after nalangu. this is a time for folks to take a nap :)

re evening reception, in the past year i attended two chennai weddings - with bombay jayashree & sudha raghunathan respectively.

it reminded me of a kalyan kutcheri 1969 or so, when the kalyana kutchery was performed by the great MS herself. sad to say, there were just a handful of devoted rasikas enjoying the music.

the rest were busy catching up on news, lining up in que to greet the bride/groom or rushing to the dining hall.

the recent jayashree & sudha kutcheris were no different.

again, 5 years ago, for the evening, they had light music. the music was latest pop hits with classicals thrown in for a good measure. not that many listened, but there was no regret of huge amount of money wasted. compared to what sudha or jayashree charge these days.
Dear Sirs,
Divine chantings arranging prior to Muhurtham, before kasi yathra etc.,
if the marriage timing is around 0900-1000 A.M fetches a good
response and so also for the Sasthirgals's chanting of Manthras
if we arrange a better mike system the hall shall have Vedic
atmosphere also. For my two daughter's marriage I arranged
a group of old people from Nanganallur who are regular in chanting
Vishnu Sahasranamam and Rudram to perform before muhurtham .
Every one enjoyed the atmosphere , all the elders remained during
the entire marriage function and blessed the couple and left.

But we have to satisfy all interests for which light music without
much noise is welcome since the marriage is to be celebrated with
all interests fulfilled . There are now music parties with old film
music without much drums to perform for this type of arrangements.
It is happy get together . Divinity with enjoyment for the youth
also has to be there.

For all, one thing has to be sure , you must respect the people
whom we are inviting and entertain them .
As long as one can afford the expenses no doubt Radha Kalyanam or veda Chanting or any other religious activities is better option than spending on film Music Orchestra or other types of modern entertainments.This subject is very apt for a Patti Mandram debate!
:pout:It all boils down to how much can one spend for a wedding.Nowadyas to that you must think about the availability of the Mandapam.
My personal view is that if some one starts a new feature like radhakalyanam etc then some more follow.But what about the plight of those who canot afford.Once the practice comes into being the grooms people will want the brides people to arrange for that and it will be more expense to thew brides side
I am just giving an example a few families importe mehendhi and now it is a part of our wedding.Is this warranted.
Radha Kalyanam,Veda Parayanam or even recorded good instrumental music is ok especially when the muhurtham happens to be early in the morning say before 8AM.This will keep the guests engaged till the lunch gets ready which is normally around 11AM.This is a good opportune moment for having the above programme during wedding rather than having it during reception when the guests are in a hurry to wish the newly weds,have dinner and push off.
:pout:It all boils down to how much can one spend for a wedding.Nowadyas to that you must think about the availability of the Mandapam.
My personal view is that if some one starts a new feature like radhakalyanam etc then some more follow.But what about the plight of those who canot afford.Once the practice comes into being the grooms people will want the brides people to arrange for that and it will be more expense to thew brides side
I am just giving an example a few families importe mehendhi and now it is a part of our wedding.Is this warranted.


good point. especially re increased costs.

sir, one assumption you made, and i am not so sure (i simply do not know the prevalent norms) whether the bride's side should foot the bill.

nowadays, with the dearth of available brides, and what i see, as desperation among grooms, are the marriage expense still borne by the girl's family?

how much do you think all this can be negotiated?

or are we not come to the level of courage on the part of bride's family to mention about sharing expenses.

two weddings i attended in chennai past year: one the bride's family was well off to afford the whole jingbang. they went over and beyond any expectations from the groom's side. they put on a great show.

the other one, the groom's parents offered to pay 50% of the bill. which is ok. the groom's family was very well off. what would have been better in this case, is for the groom's family to ask the bride their maximum mite (a widowed mother here), and pay the balance.

the issue here was a big show as the groom's family was socially prominent.

all in all, what i am saying, is that i think, we will soon develop a paradigm change - marriage will be a cooperation and operation of two families in the real sense, where not only there is union of two individuals, families, but also equal division of expenses, or even better, expenses borne by the fiscally stronger of the families.

it will come soon, judging, by the way things are going. atleast, i think so.
I personally accept the point that pbk ji has raised. But Kunju ji, how many 'mapillai athukara' actually offer to share the bill. I have come across grooms families who don't bother about all this. Ask them a question and their answer is 'idhu dhan namba tradition. adha vitu kudulalamo?'...this happened in my wedding too ... 5 years back. But I don't want to discount people who do offer to share the bill. When a friend of mine got married, the groom's father sat there with a cheque book to pay the caterer.

The concept of sharing costs is prevalant amongst our people, but not in the way it has to be. In this day and age, I think it is upto the grooms families to start this as a 'tradition'. They should come forward and say that we will share the bill. But it will take a while to change.

But back to the original issue of Radha Kalyanam or Sadas or Veda Parayanam... I am a strong supporter of this. My only suggestion would be it has to be made attractive to the younger generation. The kids of today can learn a lot from all this. Kalyana reception kutcheris need not be by very famous vidwans..what is the point of spending 5 figure amounts for something people can't enjoy much. Every family has a budding dancer or musician. It would be better if they are asked to perform. Also the kutcheri can take place before the reception or nichayadhartham. This was suggested by my father-in-law, who felt that the children in the family should be given a chance to perform. We had kutcheris on both days and they were both a big hit. We did the same for my sister's wedding too. All of us enjoyed.

The Mehendi import is a nicer way of getting people together. I had a small scale mehendi function at home. My patti was commenting that back in the olden days, we also had a similar occasion. The bride's athai or mami will apply marudhani on the girl's hands. The other ladies in the family will also apply it. This has now taken a modern north indian twist....


i am with you in your sentiments re the tight purse of groom's families.

it will take time to change, is not a good arguement, if you are parent of a bride of today, and it is your pension and savings that are at stake.

i think, that is why, god has given us a mouth. why can't we speak up?

after all, now a days, the girls come home with thick paychecks. is that not against tradition? the girls multitask - cooks, housekeeper, caregiver to inlaws, income earner in addition to companionship and partnership.. how much of this is tradition?

i think, a frank discussion, right upfront, will clear the air, and level the playing field.

in the ultimate, the boy's side too will be proud to claim that they are 'modern' in having footed half of the total wedding expenses.

which is not much, because chances are that all the jewellery has been bought over the years. .. right?

re dances and performances by children... heaven save us. NO.

i think this is the worst type of torture that could be inflicted on guests. actually, if you mention this in the invitation, i think there will be a marked downward trend in people accepting the invitations.

the only thing that beats live performance, is the promise of hosts playing the wedding videos over and over again.

please, spare us this torture.. unless ofcourse, this goes as credit as punniams when we get judged in the next world :)
Kunju ji,

I think you have hit the nail on the head.. it should not take time to change...they have to start changing now. I am sure parents of prospective grooms and brides who are members of this educating forum will start this 'tradition'.
To clarify another point, when I meant performances by children, it can be in the age group between 15 to 20. When I said people from my family performed, they were over 20, and very good too. None of the guests thought of that as torture :) . everybody enjoyed it.. But that was because we had the kutcheris before the reception. My husband's aunt followed the same thing when her son got married. It depends on the guests at the reception. When I got married, most of the guests were my classmates and my father's clients. So we had a huge crowd, and if we had had a kutcheri then, nobody could have heard anything. Likewise during the wedding, when I had gone to change, Shri. Hariji (S/O Sri Krishna premi) gave a short discourse on Sita Kalyanam. Our plan was to get our sastrigal to do the same, but when he saw that Sri Hari had come for the wedding, our sastrigal requested he give the discourse. A friend's father had arranged for a Vedic scholar to give a short discourse at my friend's wedding. Again, this was done when she had gone to change. The short discourse stayed in everybody's minds. All the guests enjoyed the lecture.

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