November 16, 2013
My Big Fat Mangalorean Wedding!
T’was at the TISS campus while studying my Masters degree
A family visited me on January 16, 1983
Their brother they said
His name is Wilfred
Jasmine Fernandes! there goes your days to be free.
Commissioning and mothballing was life in those days
For Wilfred, an Engineer in lonely Khurais
All I need is a bride
“Girls’ pictures!” he cried
But his heart went a flutter, as Jasmine’s captivates.
The scene changes to October, 27th in Bangalore
As Wilfred walked in, through the great door
A tray in my hand
Giggling did I stand
Our eyes met, our hearts knew there was more in store.
Like many of the day, it was love at first sight
And we dreamed of each other all day and all night
Two days later he did bring
Yes of course, the engagement ring
And we sat there, this time our smiles more bright!
And so separately in our homes on the eve of the great day,
The coconut milk called roce was filled in 3 plates,
While singing, their voices hoarse
They applied the oil and the roce
And then followed the bath, pampered you can say.
Early the following morn I was woken at 4:30
For make-up and dress-up in my white sari
Blessings they assailed
With Flossy My bridesmaid
From Kemman we left in the decorated ‘Amby’
Now Wilfred did not demand anything as dowry
And so my parents presented me jewels and saris
3 days earlier it was taken
My elders all laden
On the wedding morn, it was gathered by the women of the family.
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception church was in Gangolly
The best man Vincent stood there having arrived just early
The bridal bouquet he presented
Wilfred then lamented
“Can’t we start?” for he was inflicted with the patience of the Saudi
We walked down the aisle on November 17, 1983
Five priests at the altar, it was led by Fr. Regi
“I do” we said gladly
For we loved each other madly
And off to celebrate we went to scenic Moovathumudi.
But first we were diverted to Kundapur to the photographer
And took formal pictures while we posed happily together
At the Braganzas we did stop
For soft drinks to top
And then led in procession by men all the merrier.
The country wedding, was so rich in all its treasure
Of customs and traditions in a great big measure
Rose Band played songs
While the families sang along
Looking back still fills us with so much pleasure.
They then welcomed us to the beautifully decorated maatov
While singing traditional songs in Konkani called ovio
Given the general blessing
Smiles we were beaming
Amidst guests of my family and those of the Carvalhos
The women surrounded me at a separate part like a shed
There I changed my white sari to the gold and the red
More ‘ovio’ sung loudly
He put the ‘kariamani’
They adorned me with jewels and flowers on my head.
Another tradition that is celebrated with much grandeur
The exchange of saris by my mother-in-law and mother
The guests came to greet
New faces I did meet
My father-in-law then blessed us in traditional splendor.
The banana leaves were laid and we sat down on the mats
To eat of the food that was being off loaded from the vats
Delicious was the food
Cooked in that great mood
The ‘Laud da dei’ was sung, in Latin for Thanks.
My family then gathered with tears in their eyes
As daddy and mummy blessed me goodbye
The handing over ceremony
So solemn to many
I stepped into Wilfred’s house, my right foot this first time.
In front of the altar, I knelt and did pray
That God bless our lives wherever we stay
For the rest of the evening
It was drinking and dancing
And so came the end of my wedding day.
Now if you thought that was it and everything is done
On the third day was samman jawan, a feast in Kemman
My cousins danced a jig
T’was a surprise all too big
A gold ring from my mother, Wilfred now’s a son.
Yes, we walked down the aisle to say “I do”
The journey we started 30 years just flew,
God blessed us from above
With happiness and love
And decorated our paths with friends like you.