Last few weeks, we have been pre-occupied with my son, Mihir’s wedding. A wedding is quite a project, that needs contributions from so many people. In fact, In Marathi, we have a saying, लग्न पहावे करून. (One must experience organizing a wedding). That’s what we were experiencing.
The wedding took place on 18th of December. By the grace of god, and blessings of all the elders, the wedding went through without a hitch. We are overwhelmed by the love showered on us by everyone. It was a great feeling to invite a new daughter in the family.
By now, I thought I was a veteran, and had experienced every great thing about wedding ceremonies. But I was in for a pleasant surprise.
I never miss attending weddings. Apart from sharing in their joy, such events provide us with an opportunity to meet with and catch up with a large number of people.
Yesterday, I attended a wedding. Nandini, Shyam Thosar’s daughter, got married. Shyam is a very close friend. We went to IIT together and know each other since 1978. I still remember attending his wedding. He was probably the first amongst our group to get married. And now, his daughter was getting married! As I had written earlier, Children Are Calendars. Only they make us aware of the passage of time.
I reached the venue of the wedding well in time and met with friends who were attending the wedding. They had attended Mihir’s wedding too, but I couldn’t talk to them then. We moved into the wedding hall. The atmosphere was very festive. Soon Guruji announced that the Mangalashtaks were starting and if anyone from the attendees wanted to sing, they should come to the stage.
This is a very common practice during the Maharashtrian weddings. The people with poetic bent of mind from the families of bride and groom compose Mangalashtaks. They are composed in Marathi, or sometimes in Sanskrit. They typically include the names of bride, groom, their parents and other family members. They also contain good advice to the newly weds about the married life. In Mihir’s wedding, my mother had made them.
Soon the Mangalashtak started. We were listening to it absent-mindedly and showering akshata at the right cues. Now the voice changed. Someone new had started singing. The tune was correct, but the words sounded different. I was trying to make sense of the words, when I realized that the words were not Marathi, or Sanskrit, but English!
I and most others in the hall, couldn’t believe our ears. Mangalashtak in English? All of us were suddenly listening actively. The words were very meaningful and easily understood by everyone. My be because of their novelty, the message that it contained was understood completely.
After the ceremony was over, I sought out the lady, Mrs. Saneevani Kelkar, who had composed them. With her permission, I am reproducing it here.
Oh my Dear Nandini, Now you are, going to Soman’s!
house as their daughter-in-law, and Parashar’s wife!
we are giving you best wishes for healthy wealthy and long life!!
Please note that now you are their precious property!
Kindly help them if there any problem or difficulty!!
Also give your full co-operation to each and every of your family member!
so that your house will be shined in a different type of a luster!!
From tomorrow your married life will be started!
enjoy, enjoy & enjoy!!
we will shower our blessings!
full of sky, full of sky, full of sky!!
Those of you who are aware of the tune can sing this on that tune. With a little effort you can. I remember, as kids, we used to sing Jack & Jill on the same tune.
A novel experiment. I didn’t actually talk at length to Mrs. Kelkar to understand her reasoning behind composing an English Mangalashtak. But may be with many in the young generation more accustomed to English than Marathi or Sanskrit, it may be more appropriate today.