Tuesday, October 14, 2008

4. Rituals for the Groom

Kshoura (part of the Muhurtha)
Ritual shave for the groom (no, you pervs, not that kind of shave, although I know a certain someone who might volunteer to do that)
Early on the morning of the wedding, the groom (who I am quite certain will be heavily hung over from the previous night’s drinking session) is led to the 'kanni kombare' (the sacred room in the southwest corner of the house) where he sprinkles a little rice on the lamp that is kept there and salutes it. Next, he is led to the 'kanni kamba', the sacred pillar in the southwest corner of the inner courtyard of the house. He salutes the pillar and then proceeds to the sacred lamp kept in the 'nellaki nadu baade', sprinkles rice on it and salutes this also (didn’t know that action was called saluting!).

The barber applies milk on the groom's face (to get beautiful skin) and shaves his facial hair and a part of his forehead (if he has hair enough to spare for this). All the shaven hair is put in a plate of milk, making sure that not a single strand falls on the floor! (this is will be on sale on baazee.com the next day, so hurry!).

Bath: Ritual bath for the groom (everything is a ritual this day)
The 'kshoura' over, the bridegroom is led by his 'aruva' or bojakaara' (best man) for his bath. Three 'muthaides' (married ladies) pour water on him for his ritual bath (this is something of a fantasy come true for the groom).

The 'bojakaara' dresses the groom after his bath (shame, shame). Once he is dressed, the groom applies 'vibuthi' (sacred ash) on his forehead and chews betel leaves and areca nuts (How attractive is that?) before proceeding for his 'muhurtha' in a ceremonial walk.
A live band (mandatory in all Kodava weddings) now starts playing music to herald the arrival of the groom. The 'bojakaara' holds an umbrella covered with white cloth over the groom's head throughout the ceremonial walk to the 'muhurtha' site (just in case some well-meaning birds decide to shower him with their blessings).

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