Our Journey

our experiences

Coincidence or Power of Mind

Written By: ruchi - May• 09•16
Fire Flies

I have been watching a TV serial called “Siya Ke Ram” based on the epic Ramayana for the last few months. On Ram Navami in April, they showed an episode in which Sita wishes Ram a Happy Birthday by releasing the Jugnus or Fireflies in the air from her aanchal. It was mesmerizing. Evoked a lot of childhood memories when we used to see Jugnus every single day in the summers. Unfortunately the urbanization of the whole land has pushed them away and for the last 35 years I haven’t seen any of them.

Anyways, the episode was soon forgotten. A few days after the episode, out of the blue, one of our friends roped us in for a Sikkim trip and we left the following week. We flew into the Baghdogra airport and drove to Sukna cantonment area, where our friends had arranged for a night halt. After settling in, all of us were taking a leisurely stroll in the evening when I mentioned the Jugnu episode to my friends. We were all telling stories of how we used to capture Jugnus and put them in a jar or how sometimes they got into our mosquito net at night while sleeping outside etc. We must have walked a few more steps and we were dumb stuck. There was a grassland full of Jugnus right in front of us.
I hadn’t seen Jugnus in 35 years, then I see the Siya Ke Ram episode, out of the blue I get roped into a trip, our friends arrange for a night halt in the cantonment area near a dense forest, I mention this to my friends and there they are, right in front of us. How did this happen? Was it just a coincidence? I highly doubt it.
Was it that I wanted to see it so badly that the situation presented accordingly? But if that’s the case then how come it does not happen for everything else we desire? What was different in this wish from all other wishes that we have in our lives? Is it that most our wishes normally have some side effects, which we are unable to comprehend and cosmos helps us by not fulfilling them and this wish was an innocent one which cosmos had no objection to?

Ghur Charhi

Written By: Ruchi - Apr• 04•15

Ghur Charhi ceremony takes place only at the groom’s place. The tradition is to send the groom off on a horse to get the bride. He cannot come back home without the bride.

Ghur Charhi
How is it performed

Whether the wedding is local or Baarat has to go to some other city, Ghur Charhi is done just before Baaraat leaves for the bride’s place. A decorated horse is brought. The groom wears a pink dupatta and a pagdi with a kalgi. The groom climbs on the horse and then all the women in the family do Tilak to the groom. These days the Tilak is done before the groom climbs the horse.

Groom’s Bhabhi puts kaajal in groom’s eyes and she gets a gift (generally money) from the mother. Then the groom is taken to the temple. Groom’s Jija holds the reins of the horse and the Mother gives him gift (generally money) for that. The horse is fed gud and chana.
Baarat goes to the bride’s place with a band in a procession. Near the bride’s place, baarati dance a lot. Bride’s family welcomes the Baaratis. Everyone is given a flower or a garland. Fathers, Chachas and Mamas from both sides hug each other.

Groom is taken to a center stage. Bride’s Bhabhi or elder sister does Aarti of the groom. Then she performs Tilak and feeds him sweets.
Then the bride comes to the stage with her friends. Both Groom and Bride exchange flower garlands, which is called Jaymala. After that all the guests congratulate the couple and give gift to them. It’s customary for the guests of groom to give gifts to groom’s side and the guests of bride to give gifts to the bride side. Lot of pictures are taken with everyone and in parallel the food is served. After all this Phere are done in a mandap and a priest takes care of all the rituals of the pheras.


Written By: Ruchi - Apr• 04•15

Madha signifies the beginning of the wedding ceremonies.

What is needed?

A few dry bamboos, earthen bowls, sweets and mathri and kalava.

How is it performed?
Madha is tied before any wedding ceremonies begin. The bamboo sticks are tied together and earthen bowls are hung on each side of the bamboo with sweets and mathri between the bowls. Then it is tied at the entrance of the wedding house. Generally a priest recites some mantras before it can be tied to the door.

Thape & Halad

Written By: Ruchi - Apr• 04•15

Thape is the ceremony of groom’s and bride’s mothers making palm impressions on the wall. Halad is about grinding the spices and the grains.

What is needed?

Big white plain paper, ghee, roli paste, 4 vessels, dry turmeric (not the powder), Rock salt (not the powder), Dhaan, Jau (barley), a vessel in which these will be ground, rice in a steel vessel and a saree for Bua.

When is this done?
Thape are made after the Madha ceremony generally in the mornings. This is done in the main room, where all other ceremonies are performed.
How is it performed?
This is performed both at the groom’s and bride’s house. A big plain white paper is stuck on the wall. Gayatri Mantra or Ramokar Mantra is written on the paper with the help of roli paste. The mother rubs ghee on her hands and makes the hand prints on the paper. She needs to fast for this. Bride’s/Groom’s Aunties also help the mother and they need to fast too. All of them need to wear new clothes.
The four vessels are filled with turmeric, salt, dhaan and jau respectively. The rice vessel is placed in front of the paperand the saree is placed on top of it. All this is given to the Bua after the wedding.A pair of married women puts all the 4 things – turmeric, salt, jau and dhaan in the 4 vessels and then they grind it 7 times each alternatively. This process is repeated by 6 more pairs of married women.
What is the reason behind Halad?
In the old days, all the spices and grains were ground at home. Since the wedding required the food preparations for a lot of people, the grinding of spices and grains started a month before the wedding. Generally all the ladies in the family got together to help. So Halad symbolizes the preparation of spices and grains.

In today’s context, it’s pretty much useless except that it brings everyone in the family together in the same room and keeps them busy otherwise they will all sit in small groups in different corners of the house and gossip.


Written By: Ruchi - Feb• 01•15

This is a ceremony in which mother’s brother aka Mama, brings gifts for bride/groom. This ceremony takes place on both sides. This ceremony is done before the wedding day because some of the gift items from this ceremony are worn by the bride early morning on the wedding day.

Mother doing Tika to Mama
How is it performed

Traditionally a nice place is arranged for the family members of Mama to stay. In old days, the family of groom/bride used to go to Mama’s place to invite them for Bhaat. They used to sing songs and Mama used to give sarees to all the ladies who came. Now the family member of groom/bride just invite Mama for Bhaat while they are already there.

There are certain things that are necessary to be given in Bhaat like bride’s nose ring, toe rings (3 pairs), anklets, bride’s saree, sister’s saree and father’s clothes. Brother covers the sister with her saree during Bhaat. The real Mama does all this. The cousin Mamas give some money in the tilak thali.
On an inside door to the main room, first the choukhat is decorated with rangoli made of wheat flour. Then a low stool (patra) is placed on this rangoli. Mama-Mami stand on this stool. Mother does Aarti of Mama and Mami. Then Mother performs Tilak with 4 laddoos, coconut and some money. Then Mother performs Tilak to all their kids with 4 laddoos and coconut each. Brother gives all the gifts as described above to sister at this time. Then Mother performs Tilak for other brothers.

After Tilak, Mama is taken inside along with their families. At this time Father’s Sister aka Bua stands there with water jug. Mama puts money in that. Mama’s family is served sweets and savories. At this time Mama gives Milni to all the adults of Father’s side.