They should have had a half pendent each, strung across their necks and protected from everything. Two half pendants that represented their love, bond and affinity for each other. The two half pendants combined would have simply read “Best friends forever.” These two were inseparable; even if they were hundreds of miles apart they would still be side by side simply through a phone call, an e-mail or a text message. They did everything together and it was evident through their conversations, interactions but most by the way they looked and held each other. As day two of their beautiful three day Hindu wedding began Meera and Rupen were texting back and forth; sometimes trying to coordinate wedding events for later, other times simply checking in to say “hi”, but mostly sharing their excitement of soon being married. Their love was simply infectious.
??As day two began, the morning was filled with a religious Grah Shanti Puja blessing Meera in her new life as a married women.The Grah Shanti Puja welcomes Lord Ganeshin the Hinu Culture into the home of the newly engaged couple to remove obstacles, bring happiness and prosperity to the newly weds. Upon it’s completion the Haldi ceremony began. It is a time when the extended family comes together to prepare the bride for marriage by covering the brides hands, feet and face with ubtan (turmeric power filled with sandalwood, vegetable oil, herbs and fresh milk). As her family tried to cover her from head to toe in ubtan Meera’s smile became larger and larger as the realization of being less than 24 hours away from marrying the man of her dreams was setting in.
That evening we took Meera and Rupen out to have a few photos taken of them before the Garba was to begin. As they saw each other for the first time, Meera’s eyes lit up and she embraced her best friend and soon to be husband. Rupen had a wedding card and a playful smile ready for her as he’s had for over a week. She ripped into it, smiling, laughing and hold back the tears of joy as she was held by her best friend. Although it began to rain on our journey over to the park, Meera and Rupen were troopers; we were able to get a few amazing images of the two of them alone in each others arms before all the events for the evening started.
As we headed back to the venue, their love seemed all the more imminent as they held each other tight and never stopped smiling. The evening was filled with dances performed by friends and relatives followed by garba and then raas. As the family and friends came together again their love for Meera and Rupen, each other and the happiness in the room could not have gotten any stronger. Everyone danced, laughed and became excited for the big day.
It was a beautiful end to the festivities leading up to the wedding.