The scorching heat of the June sun was mercilessly burning down whatever came its way.
But the sultry weather was no match to the spirit of festivity and celebrations.
The celebration of binding two people together, in a bond of sweet surrender to each other.
The celebration of wedding, of a very close friend of mine, Ankit and his lovely wife Preeti.
My first ever chance to witness the grandeur of a North Indian wedding.
Mathura is known for Lord Krishna and ancient history, but to me it’s also the place where my friends and I had humongous fun and spent some memorable moments together. Working in Reliance Industries, served as a thoroughfare of reaching to great pals. My stay there is studded with precious memoirs, which I will treasure all through my journey.
The 2010 June sun was indeed merciless, but the warmth of the people out shined it. We were a group of five completely insane people, traveling from Surat to attend Ankit’s wedding ceremony in Mathura, our train reached Mathura in the morning. However I cannot miss to mention, how much we had troubled people in our compartment, by our over exuberant spirits. Two other guys were supposed to join us later, making us the indispensable seven. It might be worthy to mention, how the journey had transformed us to ardent card players, so much, so that we never missed one single opportunity to try our hands at it.
After a warm welcome with mouth smacking famous “kachoris” of Mathura, we understood that this outing was meant to be memorable in ways more than one. It felt lovely to be amidst people who religiously tried to make us feel at home. After late night card sessions, we slept well and woke up all geared up for an eventful day.
Ankit had arranged a car for us, and the mean machine was supposed to take us through Agra. And bestow us with the opportunity of witnessing the “wonder of the world”. Won’t say, that a June morning is the best time to appreciate the beauty of this splendor of art! Nevertheless the craftsmen’s skill and aura of the surrounding always makes visiting Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri, and “Taj Mahal” worth a million.
The long awaited ceremonies started in the evening, although a little tired from our expedition, we got all decked up. Happy faces, grandeur of Indian attire, delectable cuisines and most importantly the flashing lights of the disco floor made Ankit’s “Tilak ceremony” a grand success. We danced to the desi beats with full on enthusiasm; all fatigue vanished within a second.
However more resplendence awaited us the next evening, “the wedding”. Evening dawned with loads of light, shehanayi, colorful flowing chiffon sarees, the shine and shimmer of sequins and much more. Glee and ecstasy flowed past the vastness of the party plot. All possible north Indian dishes were served to the guests. And that’s the uniqueness of the Indian culture; each part of the country is so different from each other yet so similar.
Ankit dressed like a “Maharaja” waited for his beautiful rani to arrive, and so she did gracefully. Many ceremonies followed and gradually tied two people with the fetters of love, compassion, respect and understanding. A bonding to be cherished lifelong!
My stay in Mathura will always be special, I could witness my friend’s special moment, spend some free spirited time with good mates and above all I experienced an entire culture so different to the one I am exposed to and this very aspect is intriguing to me and makes the experience very special.
Thanks to Ankit, Preeti and their lovely families, Thanks to Vikas, Vivek, Sachin, Surjya, Vishal and Udaya for making the experience so cheerful and memorable.
Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta