Ben and Pia

A Betrothal

A meeting of minds turned into a formality by the meeting of the family which resulted in the finalising of a date for the all-important finalisation of the date of the wedding. Being from two different factions of the Christian faith, we needed to come to a commonality in the process of the day. The Saturday in question, began with attending the church and participation of the “qurbana” or mass.

But before that the groom-to-be needed to make his journey from the near east country and took a flight a couple of days before the event to reach the city. We did not want a big event at a designated venue and decided to have it at home and a quiet private affair with near and dear and still had about 50 odd people. It was to be presided over by the church vicar and some church officials too for formalising the function. Unlike other engagements, there was to be no ring exchange as the church officials pointed out that this was not part of the orthodox faith and this would entail only the finalising the date of the wedding. If we chose to have a ring exchange or exchange of gifts it would have to happen in their absence. We decided to toe the line.

I was concerned about having a large number at home and the group was to be accommodated in the terrace which was done up with Chinese lanterns and covered with a white siding for privacy. We managed to put in about 35 chairs with a few chairs on the car parking area for the buffet (a distant dream in today’s circumstances). We even managed to put up a pair of lovebirds (courtesy my househelp). The fresh flowers added to the setting. The girl’s party arrived at the given time and soon after the photographer too landed up for capturing the moments. The couple soon were subject of my godson’s phone camera and were merrily posing in the street and garden in front much to the amusement of the neighbours.

Soon the house filled up with people and was gently coaxed up the three flights of stairs to the terrace waiting for the Vicars to arrive. They arrived and the merry atmosphere turned sombre and we assembled in the evening light for the MC of the evening to take over. The formal welcome of all present was followed by a reading from the scriptures and a short prayer. This was followed by the announcement by the family member to the reason of our gathering which is reiterated by the Vicar with an agreement from all present. Letters from the respective churches were exchanged for the final stamp of authority and to be produced and submitted to the church closer to the wedding. A smile of happiness spread through the gathering at the conclusion of the event. The important members of the group proceeded to dinner organised by an ex-student with live counters of kababs and a buffet of other delectables that were appreciated by all.

Meanwhile, a musical treat was unfolding in the terrace with karaoke numbers entertaining the neighbourhood of Bollywood and Sandalwood songs. The goodbyes were accompanied with gift exchanges. The couple and the fiancées brother and sister in law stayed back overnight for some more bonding and camaraderie.

The following day, Sunday, as we sat around the breakfast table, a neighbour popped in to enquire about the day’s events and whether we needed any help, little knowing that the event had got over the previous day. We ragged him about it and he took it in his long strides back home. They visitors left with the sister in law expressing her sadness in missing the November wedding as she would be with child in the UK like the brother of the groom was stuck for this function in Canada.

The next weekend saw the couple attending the compulsory whole day marriage counselling conducted by the Orthodox church with mental, physical, spiritual and legal inputs and followed by another talk with the charming priest who would be conducting the actual wedding itself, Father Philip Kuruvilla. It coincided with the birthday of my second son, who was conspicuous in his absence

This post of appreciation goes out to all present and absent, from the Lord himself and his men of cloth, Fr. Skaria Mathew, the MC in Angira Bose and her sparkling presence, the Announcer in Joju Jacob, despite his nervousness, the caterer Subodh Goyal and his restaurant, Maa da Dhaba for their deliciousness, Giju and his timely chauffeuring to and fro, the members of the church, the relatives who made it, my right hand Kevin Jacob, the family members who graciously played the host, Sunita Jacob and Biraj, the two families of Johns and Georges and the raison d’être, the beautiful couple Ben and Pia who set the ball rolling for the bigger event in November.

Remembering the “Vakkukodukkal” or “giving of the word” of 7th of July, 2019 with thankfulness and humility

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