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The Nikka

PAKISTAN | Sunday, 25 July 2010 | Views [1716]

I don´t know much about this, but bear with me: The Nikka is the legal and religious binding part during the marriage and the first real event. Man and woman say yes to each other, say yes in front of god, and sign their marriage contract. And when I say marriage contract I mean it: it even includes how much is payed to the wife in case of a divorce! (btw, nothing is paid to the guy, even if the wife leaves him..!)

What I do know is that it was an abundance, an abundance of senses - so I will describe it as such:

Smell: The sweet smell of Jasmine and roses diffused throughout the house, and into our lungs and hearts. Creating a sense of tender expectation and excitement. As the candles were lit, that sweet smoky whiff moved like a wave through the room in which all women were sitting. After the ceremony, the mint and feta cheese in the appetizers cooled the senses and added a salty fresh note.

Touch:There was a lot of warmth in every touch. The embrace from an aunt, an uncle. The caring touch on the shoulder from a friend wanting to direct your attention. The smooth dress felt silky soft on my skin. Feet touched soft ground, or deliciously cool marble. Hair being caressed from the fan with a light breeze.

Hear:Voices, murmurs. Excitement. Air conditioners and fans blowing smoothly.The loud crack from the stereo being tested. The delight from the child playing tug of war with the dog. The unexpected cell phone call. Women shouting for the ceremony. The words "I do" three times from him and her - in Urdu.

See:Abundance of colours. Grace in movement. The excited smile of the bride, and the knowing tear from her mother. People looking as if this was routine. Sisters who's excitement showed in their eyes and gesture. Cameras, light, video. A beautifully, lovingly decorated  platform with two chairs in front of it for bride and groom. A mirror on the platform, heavy with ancient traditions. 

Taste:The salty mint of the appetizers, the dough-like sweetness of the desert. Saffron sugar infused water with cardamom. Fruit out of an exquisitely arranged basket.

The ceremony itself had men and women separate, and after the woman was asked (three times!) if she wants to proceed with this wedding, the "messenger" and two witnesses went over to the men's side and asked the guy if he accepted the conditions (which were agreed on earlier). 

It is late. Actually, it is early. I have come home from the Mehndi (a celebration we had on the same day!), about which I will tell you tomorrow. Until then, let the sea of dreams take you, carry you in your swim.

Tags: mehndi, nikka, wedding

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