Brother’s wedding arrangements were going in full swing, and with only two days left for the occasion – of Nov 25th evening reception and Nov 26th morning marriage – the invitation process came to an end with Panthakaal on Sunday. Panthakaal is a pre-wedding ritual, where a wooden pole is planted in front of the house (a few days ahead of the wedding) after prayer for a trouble-free wedding ceremony. In the bygone era, word of mouth was the only source of communication; so pole planting ensures the passers-by get to know about the wedding and also the good news is passed to others.
Now, following the Panthakaal, Nalanggu is performed on him for the remaining days to the wedding. Nalanggu is an activity of applying turmeric paste on the cheeks, hands, and feet of the bride and groom by the married women, and as a blessing, saffron is applied to their forehead. Mostly it’s a 3-day ritual, and we are having guests visiting us every day to perform the rite, and my brother is at hold at home from Sunday. Other than relatives, we invite friends and neighbors to visit us to perform the ritual, and for me, I get something special to eat at home in the evenings and at night as we have guests.
Everything goes well until now, and our house got a cheerful look like the wedding lights that set home in the festival glow. But not to forget, the Nivar cyclone is nearing us and threatening to mess the celebration mood as it is predicted to strike exactly on the dates of the wedding. We have no option other than facing anything that comes our way, but we hope the cyclone passes off quickly before the event began.
The last few weeks were kind of huff and puff for the parents, and presenting the invitation has kept them away from the afternoon naps and our bedtime to past 11 pm. My uncle's family next door has taken care of me while my parents were away on an inviting spree, we still can’t reach out to many of them as we got a very short time, and the pandemic is another troublesome kicking ass as well. Conducting a marriage in a situation of social distancing and mask-wearing is a different experience we’re looking forward to, and hope things work well for us safely and securely.