Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It’s the Marriages Season

The twenty days following the Eid-ul-Azha in Pakistan are the days of marriages as the next Islamic month is that of Muharram, when devotees observe it with awe and simplicity in remembrance of the martyrs of Karbala. So in these twenty days, one can see marriage halls thriving with colourful attires, flowers, bands, dhools and loud music to celebrate the marriage events of Mehndi, Wedding and the Walima. In some cases, the function of Mehndi is spread over two days.

This weekend, I was in Lahore to attend two marriages, beside meeting my friend Shirazi Doodh Patti fame) and Zahir Khan.

The first marriage was that of my college days friend, Arif, whose daughter was being married off with a relative in Black Coat. Although the expected time of arrival of the “baraat” was 3 pm, the baraat came an hour later and the lunch could be served when it was almost sunset time. I didn’t know anyone there except for the father and brother of the bride, but got lucky when another college day friend Hameed also walked in. Hameed, son of late Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Hamood ur Rehman, has also rose to prominence and has become a Justice himself and was one of the many who refused to take oath under the PCO. So we sat, ate and chatted recalling good old days of the Government College where we all studied some three decades ago.

The second marriage was that of daughter of my colleague who died in a road accident near Skardu. I along with my wife attended both Mehndi and Wedding days.

And while going to attend the festivities of the event, I could see many other motorcades moving in all directions with beautifully decorated groom-cars. Since it was the time of blooming “Gainda” flowers, its many shades of yellow and orange were used both for the Mehndi function and bunting of the cars. Due to imposition of one-dish party, there wasn’t much of choice to select from, but the food was good, specially the sweet dish of “Paithay ka Halwa”. The functions were hurriedly brought to end as by 11 pm all such functions are to be closed to save electricity.
Lahore was getting chilly these days, and when we came out of the marriage hall, it was difficult to save oneself from the chill in the air.

For more on the wedding functions, read “Customs and Traditions of Pakistan” of my website.