Putting together all aspects of Parthi and Shobana’s wedding might have been a task in itself, but none of us could’ve anticipated what their wedding day had in store! :D
Their wedding was set to happen between 4 and 6 in the morning, in a temple atop a small hill, famous for the number of weddings that happen there at any given muhurtham, due to the belief that it is an extremely auspicious place to start married life in. The only slot Shobana’s makeup artist had open had her start getting ready at about 11 pm the previous night, so there I was, yawning and excited at the same time, seeing the her wedding look come together. See, now is about when you should know that we put together every small aspect of both their looks, right from her saree, lehenga, jewellery, tailor visits, footwear, bindi, makeup, his suit, tie, pocket square, shoes, right up to every little square inch of how they looked that day was meticulously planned. We got Shobana ready well ahead of time, and moved to the foothills of the temple with the bridal party even before daybreak. The groom arrived, his friends arrived, but the rest of the groom’s party was nowhere to be seen.
Parthi is from Pondicherry. His family had arranged for a bus to get his folks, his relatives to Karur, and accommodation was arranged a little away from the temple. The driver was also from Pondicherry, and at 3:30 in the morning, he could not spot any landmark on the highway, thereby having the entire groom’s side going in loops trying to find the temple.
By the time the driver found out the route and got the groom’s family around, Shobana realised that when she had left to the makeup artist’s place, Parthi had given the box with the gold thaali to her, asking her to hold on to it and get it to the temple. Since it was a last minute addition, Shobana had forgotten to get that bag along from the makeup artist’s house before leaving, who in turn had left to another venue for another makeup job for the day. With tension hitting a peak, our videographer anna tried striking up a conversation to lighten the mood: ‘Idhu paravaala, akka. (pointing to the traditional photo anna) Dho, ivan kalyanathappo sombu kanom (kalasam) nu half an hour suthinom!’ We also spotted a photographer friend shooting another couple getting married in the same temple, around the same time, and shared an equally surprised ‘Hello!’
By the time the thaali and all required people were in place, it was well past 5. We rushed up to the temple and only then did I fully understand the scale of what they meant when they said ‘Kalyanathukku per pona kovil. At a time, multiple weddings happen!’ There was almost 0 space to stand, let alone position self for a shot. I found a pillar to climb and hold on to while the wedding party struggled to find a spot with a priest for the wedding rituals to start. All I could see was a sea of heads, and our photographer friend, waving a wordless, scared hi a few metres away.
The time marked for their wedding, like I mentioned earlier ,was between 4 and 6 am, and according to family astrologers, they had to, at any cost, be married before 6 am. It was already a little past 5:30 when the family managed to obtain a spot, and as the priest and his helper rushed through the chants and rituals, as my team and I nudged our way around to find a spot to somehow document the wedding, just as Parthiben was handed the thaali, a huge argument broke out amongst the wedding party next to us, very alike to what I’ve seen only in old Tamil cinemas. There was a lot of yelling (in my head, it played out in slow-motion), a lot of ‘How dare you!’s and ‘Eiiiii!’s thrown around, and while the attention of all of the lot around Parthi and Shobana shifted and froze in slight terror, one uncle had the sense of mind to quickly chip in saying, ‘Neenga mandhratha sollunga, saami!
… and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Parthi and Shobana got married. :D
Hit play on the song below & check out the pictures. :)