Home' Plains Producer : Plains Producer November 6, 2013 Contents pavement at one point and all calmly walked
Saturday, October 5, found us at the Seghal
household abuzz with wedding activities. They
still found time to feed us breakfast of chai,
chickpeas with yoghurt, and delicious griddled
Then, clad in borrowed traditional Punjabi
salwar kameesh, an exotic costume worn by all
women from nine–90 years, we attended the
Sikh temple, the Gurdwara, for the giving of
gifts to the groom by the bride’s family.
Sikhism was founded in 1469 near Lahore
in Pakistan. They believe in One Supreme God,
do not recognise the caste system, nor have
idols, rituals or superstitions.
They practice service to humanity, tolerance
and brotherly love to all. Sikh men have five
symbols known as the five Ks. Kesha is uncut
hair, Kahgha is a comb, Kara is a steel bracelet,
Kachla is pair of underwear shorts, and Kirpan
is a short decorative dagger.
Afterwards it was off to a hotel for eating,
drinking (alcohol permitted now it seems) and
dancing to loud Bollywood music.
We met the groom and his glamorous family.
Rinki did not attend as the bride does not see
Plains Producer,Wednesday, November 6, 2013
FROM THE TAJ TO AN
• CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK
WE were up at 5am for our dawn visit to
the Taj Mahal. Set in immaculate surroundings
alongside the Jumna River the Taj at dawn is
a pearly luminescent pink glowing building to
which no photograph can do justice.
It has to be seen “in the flesh”. Done by
hand in by 20,000 workers over 22 years, it
has 20,000 visitors daily. Intricately patterned
perforated screens have been carved from a
single piece of marble.
We visited the Amber Fort, at Jaipur, six
hours away, the ornate and highly decorative
fortress palace built by Rajah Jai Singh and
enjoyed an elephant ride up the ramparts.
En route I patted an elephant on the trunk
and he “said hello” and replaced my hat on
Apparently elephants remember a person
they have sensed for seven years, so should I
revisit that elephant he will spontaneously greet
me! The Amber Fort has a series of courtyards
and pavilions with rows of marble and red
sandstone pillars with finely carved elephant
brackets, frescoes and latticed galleries.
There was a central Mughal garden flanked
by private apartments with walls and ceilings
of carved marble panels embellished with
carved marble murals of flowers, motifs and
war scenes. One hall is embedded with mirrors
that twinkle like a starlit sky when a candle is
lit inside its closed doors.
A highlight of this day was a stroll through
the crowded bazaar with its colourful flowers,
spices, teas, goods of all descriptions.
A young beggar girl latched on to me and
gave me such a pleading gaze, miming the eating
action and persisting with her silent entreaty that
I gave her 10 rupees, about two cents, although
she did not look undernourished.
A big black healthy cow blocked the
CONCLUDES NEXT WEEK, WITH: THE WEDDING
The Spice of life
AT the Red Fort,
a Mughal Palace
at Agra, (from left)
Anna Nihill, Sonia
at the Red Fort, a
Mughal Palace at
RINKI, the bride and Jagdeep,
the groom, looking like a
FEATURE TRAVEL DIARY
BALAKLAVA resident Kevyna Gardner recently journeyed to India, attending the wedding
of Rinki Seghal, sister of Jatinder Singh, nee Seghal, a popular former science teacher
at Balaklava High School. In the party were Glenn Condo, Kevyna Gardner, Anna Nihill,
Sonia Pringle and Courtney Pringle.Kevyna offered the Plains Producer this account of her
time in the mystical nation. THIS week, life in India – and wedding preparations.
the groom until the marriage ceremony on the
Monday. As they danced, paper money was
showered over the dancers, collected up and
re–showered for photo opportunities.
We attended the Mendi ceremony which is
the henna painting by two university students
who were also henna artists.
They came to the house and painted exquisite
intricate traditional patterns on Rinki’s hands,
arms and legs for two hours. We girls had our
hands done in 10–15 mins. Henna powder is
mixed to a smooth paste and squeezed onto the
skin with a finely–nozzled icing cone.
The paste sets to a crust overnight so Rinki
had to sleep very still on her back. It cost her
about $100. In the morning the crusts fall off
and the pattern stays for several weeks, darken-
ing over time until it fades with washing. The
darker the pattern the more your husband loves
you, they said.
Back at the Singh’s’ house, decorations
went up in blue and pink nylon tulle, fairy
lights and flowers and a marquee was set up
for the dancing and feasting.
The Seghal ladies, bar Rinki, welcome the
groom’s extended family at the gate of their
house. It was the day for the groom’s family
to present gifts. All then repair to the rooftop
of the house under exotic drapes of purple with
white tasselled fringes.
The groom’s family sit in a U–shape with
the bride’s family facing them audience style.
Drinks and nuts are handed around and all are
unobtrusively photographed. Gifts are given
and the groom’s mother embraces Rinki. Then
the mother and sister drape Rinki in an exqui-
sitely embroided red shawl.
Now Rinki has been accepted into the
groom’s family. The groom’s family then eat
and are escorted to the homes where they will
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