The Godh Bharai ceremony or literally ‘the lap-filling’ ceremony maybe considered equivalent to the Western concept of a baby shower. The ceremony is typically held in the seventh and ninth month of pregnancy. Usually, the first one is hosted by the in-laws and the later one, by the girl’s parents. In both ceremonies, the mother-to-be is blessed by the elders, showered with gifts and fed with food of her choice. Men are generally excluded from this ceremony.
However, in certain regions of India, particularly North India, a Godh bharai ceremony is also held before the wedding. The ceremony, conducted by females from the groom’s family, symbolizes the official acceptance of the girl as the daughter of their family.
The pic was just to up the glam quotient (for the uninitiated and interested – that’s Amitabh Bachchan second from the left with his wife and son and on the right is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with her parents) and cover up the fact that I don’t know much about the custom. Not that I know much about Bengali weddings – like my professor would say, your English is worse than your Bengali, which you don’t know…
Anyway to get back to the topic at hand, in this ritual (as gleaned from the internet and some hearsay evidence) the bride-to-be typically wears a sari and sits cross-legged on the floor with the free edge of her sari (pallu) held up above her lap (godh). The groom’s family brings gifts, jewellery, doll, make-up items, clothes and sweets, which are placed in the bride’s pallu. The doll symbolizes their wish and blessing that she bear many children in the future. The girl respectfully accepts all the gifts and takes the blessings of the elders by touching their feet.
Thought for the day: “The only gift I have to give, is the ability to receive. If giving is a gift, and it surely is, then my gift to you is to allow you to give to me.” ― Jarod Kintz
Hence, my gift to you is leave to leave me a note and on this note, I take your leave 😉