Banu. The mother of the groom


Banu's son got married on Friday. She went really out of the way to make it memorable. It started with the lovely card which had everyone's names but hers. You don't put the mother's name apparently.

Ironical given that she did all the arrangements and paid for it all.

I heard that there was a qawwali the night before the wedding. The wedding on Friday was followed by a feast of chicken pulao she told us.

We went to the reception today. At dadima ke tabela (granny's cowshed) at bandra e. Entry to the lane marked by a sheekh kebab guy, the aroma of whose wares spread through the mohalla.

This is where Banu grew up and her second child was getting married today. The joy on Banu's face infectious. Her voice sore from excitement.

We got up on the stage many time for photographs to be taken with various family members. The groom and bride often pushed aside. Still and then video camera. The entire mohalla was celebrating.

'Hasi mazak' or fun and games would go on till 1am Banu told us.

And then we went for dinner. One section had tables laid out for ladies. Another for men. The food station in between. 600 people would be fed.

There was beef biryani. Whole cows had been slaughtered. She gave the caterer 120 kilos of beef. To this he added 100 kilos of rice and masala. The resulting dish exquisite an the quality right up to the best Mumbai biryani that you can get. The quality of rice and meat amazing.

That was not all. There was chicken biryani for those who didn't eat beef and folks at our tables said the chicken was very tender. There was biryani made largely for maharashtrian Hindus who came
from her ancestral village for the wedding.

There was a sweet dish too. Sheets or halva with dry fruits.

Banu personally looked after us and got bottles of mineral water and iced thums up as well for us and kept pushing food on to our plates exhorting us to eat more

A really big hearted host.

For the next 5 Fridays I am told, irfan and his wife will visit relatives where the new bride will serve food to the relatives and be blessed by them. Post that she becomes one with the family and starts helping Banu in managing the house.

It's been a weekend of weddings. I went to a colleague, neha's mehendi ceremony on Friday. Initially I thought it was a women's thing as the only other guy was a 9 year old who was asked to sit beside me but later the lawn's filled up with more people.

Chaat, pao bhaji, pizza, fruit custard and moong daal halva done I convinced my colleagues to join me as I shook two left legs in this Sindhi pre wedding ceremony.

I was never a believer in big weddings. Always felt the money could be spent better. Lot of people go under severe debt for this.

Still, the last 3 or 4 weddings that I have been to, and the joy I have seen on people's faces, make me
feel that hey maybe it's not that bad a thing.

Whatever works.

Back's been acting up again so I have to stay away from the desk. Mobile blogging it is for now. The Jaipur post has to wait.
the food station
with the bride and groom
Banu calls us for dinner
the wedding feast
It's photo time
Banu greets us
the wedding card
With Banu, the big hearted host
Couple of ladies enjoying the chicken and veg biryanis
Banu with the bride and groom
With Neha and Yogesh at the mehendi
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