The seriousness of an Indian marriage ceremony is lightened with a few traditional games meant to elevate the mood and create a feeling of unity between members of the two families.
Fish the Ring
This Indian wedding game determines who will rule the roost in the home front. When the couple appears as man and wife before the family gathering for the first time, the big question is who will take charge in the relationship. The bride and groom are asked to take off their rings and put them in a pot of clear water. As the rings settle to the bottom, they are asked to churn the water as vigorously as possible. Once their hands come out, everyone looks at the water. If the bride`s ring lags behind in the swirling water she will be an obedient wife. If it is the opposite, the groom will be wrapped around her finger.
Sometimes, the rings are placed in a pot of milk and asking the couple to `fish`. Whoever finds the ring first will always have the upper hand!
Jutti Chupai (Hiding the Shoes)
Hiding the ShoesWhen the couple reaches the mandap for the `pheras`, the groom removes his shoes. The bridesmaid hides his shoes. After the ceremony is complete and the groom gets up to leave the mandap, the bridesmaids surround him and demand a preposterous sum of money in exchange for his shoes. The groom is left with no alternative in spite of a lot of begging and pleading. He pays the ransom and is then allowed to put on his shoes.
This is a game played at the groom`s house. The sisters of the groom block the entrance door as the new bride arrives in her husband`s home. Pretending to be helpful they point to a covered heap. With a gilded cover placed over a mound supposedly to uncover the family deity – and they ask the bride to bow her head to it before entering. The bride, ever anxious to oblige, dutifully bows her head. The room of women bursts out laughing. However, the cover is pulled off to reveal a pile of old footwear cleverly arranged in a mound.
The ceremonial worshiping of the shoes does serve a purpose – with the laughter the ice is broken and the new bride suddenly finds a roomful of friends.
Knotted Strings In another attempt to predict the future of the couple`s married life, the bride is given a knotted string to unwind. She and her husband use one hand each to unravel the knots. The sooner they unravel them, the greater the ease with which they will face life`s struggles. The coveted position of the `knot-tier` is given to the favorite sister of the groom and it is up to her to make it difficult. In certain castes, the bride and the groom are made to wear a dry turmeric with a sacred thread knotted around their right hands which later in the game, are supposed to be untied by each other by their left hands.
A pillow is held between the shoulders of the bride and groom who sit with their backs to each other. They are asked questions to which they have to reply in “Yes` or “No” by nodding their heads. Since they cannot see each other they do not know how the other is responding. The questions can be as simple and lighthearted as, “Have you found your dream partner” or “Are you going to be the big boss at home” and “If your partner gets angry will you do the pampering” plus questions on their likes and dislikes. For the gathering it is great fun to watch the newly-weds reply similarly or differently to each query. Accordingly they are given the title of “I want to know you better – couple” if their score is low or “Two hearts yet one soul – couple” if their score is high.
You Touch My Heart
You Touch My HeartThis game is particularly enjoyable for the women from the bride`s side. Several round slots are made with a saree, wide enough for a hand to pass through. The saree is held lengthwise and behind it stand women from the bride`s side, including the bride. All the women thrust their hand upto the wrist out of the holes. The groom stands on the other side from where he can only see an array of hands. The challenge for him is to search correctly for his bride`s hands for which he is given three chances. Failing this, he has to pay a `fine` before his bride is reunited with him.
Where Is My Heart
Where Is My HeartIn this, married couples – including the bride and groom – stand back-to-back in random order, such that they cannot see each other. Each woman has to find her spouse by calling out to him with an endearment such as “Where is my heart?” without addressing him by name. The husband has to respond accordingly. There is much laughter if the wrong man answers! Those who find their spouse leave the game while those who fail continue calling out till they have found their partner.
While, the presentation and celebrations kept changing constantly through out the institution of marriage and society, certain ceremonies and rituals had been constant in marriage mantras. From the ancient era through these holy chants while performing marriage ceremony a husband welcomes the bride affectionately in his family hoping for a happy future, promising her a status of `ardhangini` which literally means – equal part of her man and vice versa. It is also implied in these mantras that both are incomplete without each other. While the bride must recognize her husband as her Lord, the husband is to appreciate the wife as the source of his position and strength as provider, protector of his household, which is essentially and practically generated and maintained by his wife.
Source : indianetzone.com