South Indian weddings: The spirit of simple abundance
When you think of South India, You think of sambar and spice and everything nice.
You think of jasmine flowers, carnatic music and coconuts.
You think of temples, sandalwood, and the sacred hues of yellow (turmeric) and red (kumkum).
You think of the beauty of Bharatnatyam, the colorful Kathakali, the grace of Mohiniattam and the elegance of Kuchipudi (dance forms).
You think of the lovely and intricate designs of rangoli that grace the floors of South Indian homes.
You think of tamarind and curry leaves, you think of the internationally acclaimed soft idlis and crisp dosas.
These images are but the tip of the iceberg. They are just physical manifestations of what the south represents.
The way to the heart and soul of South India lies in its weddings.
All the above pictures and more merge into the myriads of images that go into the making of a South Indian `Kalyanam`.(wedding)
Summer time Wedding time.
Although the wedding season kicks off in January itself, it reaches its peak in summer.
Come June and July, the wedding fever is at its pitch.
The rush for wedding halls, the chasing of auspicious dates, the mad crowds in saree and jewellery shops, the frayed tempers and the traffic jams, the swish of Kanjeevaram sarees and the subtle smell of sandalwood they all collage in a scene that is mad but magical.
Variety the spice of South Indian weddings
There is no way that you can club all wedding rituals together and package a typical South Indian wedding.
This would be an affront to the various states and communities of South India who pride themselves on having wedding customs unique to their own.