Chicago ‘il Thirumanam – by popular demand
People I personally know who frequent the blog have been asking – ‘So, where is the post on the Chicago Thirumanam’. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing it, but thought people would be bored to read it. But, if you are interested, go ahead and read this, or don’t.
The Chicago thirumanam went off really well, to everyone’s happiness and satisfaction during the thanksgiving weekend. Yes, it’s now more than a month.
We tried very hard to keep it as close as possible to what it would have been in India. Of course, many of the specimens mentioned in this post, were definitely missing.
We had 2 sessions – the previous evening was the Nischyathartham/Reception. That was followed by the wedding ceremony the next morning.
The crowd was close to 100 people. Most women turned up in silk sarees, and wore the jewellery they had access to in the US. The reception desk at the entrance was unmanned, because there were few young girls in the crowd, and those that could have done it, found it odd to stand by the entrance. All the same, we had a plate full of colourful daisies and sugar or chocolates to sweeten the guest’s mouth as they entered.
In true desi style, like all other desi parties, everything was delayed by a minimum of one hour. Thankfully, the priest who was skilled at either reciting quickly or conveniently omitting the extra frills, managed to have the thali tied, 2 minutes before the end of the muhurtham. Thanks to starting so late, our guest were in time to witness the ceremony too, else we might have had a handful of people, 80% of who would have been white-american. The poor chaps had no idea about the Indian Stretchable Time concept I guess.
In preparation for the wedding, some of the interesting things we did were:
Welcome Board & Vethalai Paaku bags - The welcome board was handcrafted in exquisite Red gift wrapping paper and adorned by gold glitter to display the names of the bride and groom. No place for the word ‘Welcome’ when I finished. We made sure it was displayed outside the mantapam on both days.
The vethalai Pakku bags were white paper bags. We used half-page labels to print out the bride and groom’s names with the date of the wedding and Thank you written. We had it done in marroon and blue (for women and men). The stickers then were easily applied to the bag. In all I have to admit, it looked very professional. What went inside the bag was- For the men, apple and Bakshanam(Karasev and laddu) bag. For the women, there was manjal, kumkum, apple, ravikai thuni(blouse piece) and a gift.
Nischyathartham plates - Found $1 trays in the local dollar store. Filled them with an assortment of stuff and sealed and tied them with Cling wrap and red and gold ribbon.
Vratha Bakshanam - More $1 trays from dollar store. No Kai-Murukku experts here, so managed Mul-Murukku in large sizes, Nukkal, Therati paal (from Ricotta cheese), Om-podi, Appam, and bought out Laddu and Mysore Pak.
So, that in brief is a little of what happened those two days.