Kashmiris have been fallowing the age old tradition of wedding ceremonies from times immemorial. The giving away of the bride is one such special custom that not only signifies a farewell to the bride but also encouraging her to start a new life.
When parents bid "RUKHSATI" or good bye to their daughter, they are actually sending her to a next journey, in a ceremonial way. In good old days, few families in Kashmir would arrange a ' Doli', "Zapan" (a carriage or a cot) that took her to matrimonial home by close family members or even helpers on wages who were called "Qahars" in Kashmiri. These people would carry the bride ceremoniously to her in- laws' home.
Qahars during the traveling would recite in Kashmiri, “Soruin choey, Wagoon choey, Khofur choey, Dacheen choey,” meaning take precautions, up andn down, right and left. This was to help ease the travel on uneven narrow lanes and by lanes, says jallal u Din Shah, a well known writer on Kashmir traditions and culture.
HISTORY OF "ZANPAN" COT.
The zanpan originated among the royal rulers of Kashmir since ancient times. Royal ladies were usually not to be seen in public. So they would travel in cots that were well covered and decorated. Even during British rule in India, most of the British ladies used cot (Palki) to show off their status.
Traveling by palanquin has always been costly and some travelers has mostly used the mode of conveyance. There were different types of cots, some were small and few spacious that was mostly used by the royalty during ancient times for a longer travel and could carry the necessities for the journey. The palanquin were well used in subcontinent also during Moghul and colonial times. The best "palkis" were made at Thatta, Sind now in Pakistan.
The palkis is still in use in the subcontinent, and affluent families hire traditional and latest designs cots, that make the brides entry a unique affair. Many commercial outlets make beautiful palkis on customers choices, with huge price tags.
Things have changed in traditional bridal entry and many new ideas have cropped in. Brides from affluent families dreams of making a striking bridal entry on their wedding day. And why not! After all it is one of the few monumental moments of life where all eyes are glued to the bride.
Every guest to the groom, impatiently wait to get the first glimpse of the bride all dressed in her bridal glory. Which is why a bride has to make sure that her bridal entry is every step unique, and colorful and class apart.
Transportation for grooms and brides have changed drastically with times. From walking, using palki, riding a horse, boats to Ferrari cars, to navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments.
Recently one of the promising bride in Baramulla town fallowed in the footsteps of another trendsetter bride Sneha Singhi Upadhaya, a chef by profession of Kolkata (west Bengal) who tied the knot with Saugat Upadya and drove her husband to "susral ", in laws' house, in preplanned way with the groom. She in a media chat said, she had informed her then husband to be, about her will to drive on the wedding day. Her husband had reacted positively, and it happened and the moment was significant to both, and historical as well. She had driven her husband on the wedding day to in laws' house. In the same fashion, Baramulla bride, repeated the act when her groom surprisingly offered the keys of the vehicle for driving, in order to make her feel special. She instantly agreed and felt honored to drive her groom to her in laws.
Three years before, a bride in China drove a bus to her wedding. Chose the bus over a car and picked up her husband on the way. The bus was decorated with balloons and flowers. Upon seeing the bride entering the venue, left the people mesmerized.
Recently, a carefree and bold bride in Indian Punjab, dressed in traditional choli, rocked in full swing and became a trendsetter. She latter in an interview said, brides need not always be shy and submissive. We have to come out of the box. She further said, while wedding and marriages often curtail bride's freedom and dictate terms, some of us have to bend the rules and be trend setters.
Lindsey Haul, has very rightly said, if you fallow the trend, you will always be behind it.