Its early morning and its a complete chaos at my home. Today is the auspicious day to carry out the Jai Ragada ceremony. Its the ceremony that marks the official start to all the wedding ceremonies and functions to come. My mum had earlier spoken to pandit ji and it seems the whole of today is auspicious. So she has decided to carry out the ceremony in the evening.
I have no clue what this ritual is all about, but I am super excited. Its less than a month now, and I am starting to feel the (wedding) chill. From what I have gathered, in our culture (I am from Orissa) this ceremony has a special importance as the wedding invitation cards get distributed only after this ceremony. And even before that can happen, the first invitation card has to go to Puri Jagannath Temple, as one has to seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath.
I am usually not so religious, but off late with my own wedding happening…something has changed inside me. I look forward to all these occasions which make me feel super special and extremely loved and doted upon. I think one thing that has come out strongly from this marriage situation is to know how much the family, relatives and even friends care about you and love you.
Just couple of days back, my best friend told me on whatsapp that she might cry seeing me leave the home and go to my sasural. I didn’t make much hu-ha about it back then, but I had a knot in my throat. One doesn’t get to witness such outpouring of love on any other occasion.
Jai ragada turned out to be an emotional affair too…
There were seven aunties coming home for the ceremony. Each of them had a part to play in the ritual. My mum not too sure of how to go about the ceremony had taken detailed instructions from my nani. Lots of ingredients were needed like 5 paan ke patti, supari, 7 mango leaves, and some other things which I don’t know what they are called in hindi or english 🙄 But you can have a look here…
So early morning went in gathering all these items. The most difficult was getting the kula – which is the open basket looking thing on the left. I had no idea which shop to go look for one, or what to ask the shopkeeper…neither did I have a picture of it to show him for ease of understanding. So I conveniently sent my dad to fetch this for us 😛
He surprisingly managed rather easily and brought home the exact thing needed. Kula is traditionally used everywhere in Orissa in every household for separating the dust from various items like rice, dal, and some other things. Especially in the villages, the kula is used quite extensively.
With all the things in place, I started getting dolled up for the evening.
Everyone arrived by 6pm and the festivities started. The whole event on its own was not more than a few minutes. All the ladies had to come together and take the masala and grind it on the stone that you see in the picture. The custom goes like, that particular paste is used later during the actual wedding for one of the chants by the panditji. At that time, one is supposed to have this paste ready to present to him.
Then there is the (badhi) white paste that you can see on the kula…the big one is for the groom, the small sized one is for me. Although in this picture, both sizes look more or less equal. Its later kept to dry in the sun till it becomes absolutely crisp. It can be deep fried and consumed as is or even in different curries. Its a traditional item that you will see is used quite a lot in oriya dishes. But today it is going to be dried and kept as is and be used only during the wedding…how, I will find out on the wedding day 🙂
Now, what is the importance of this ritual, that I don’t really know but I am sure it has a story behind it. Any oriyas here? May be you can tell us more about it. The part which I found the most fun was the sound hul-huli made by all the ladies. Its the typical sound you would hear during durga puja. Earlier I wasn’t really good at making that sound, but now I am a pro 😀
The evening ended with everyone giving me their blessings, and their word of advises which was super fun to listen to. As the day came to an end and I looked back, it just made me feel as though time is suddenly going by so fast. Earlier, I would be counting months and now there are days left to go… But even so, I can’t wait to get started with the new life…
P.S. I am really sorry guys, but getting really busy with last minute wedding planning and the running around. I will try to blog as much as possible, but don’t hate me for not being able to blog regularly 🙁 I will come back soon…