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The bride as Shakuntala
Until a few years ago, portly pandits and their motormouth mantras could solemnise weddings within minutes. At the last 'swahah', guests could happily make a dash for the buffet. But that was when the Indian wedding wasn't Pracheen Cool. Now, enthusiastic brides and grooms want tedious English translations of the ritualistic saptapadi and are curious about how these seven promises bound Draupadi to her five husbands.
It's not just the renewed interest in ancient wedding mantras, the Pracheen Cool shaadi is incomplete without brides wearing breastplate-style necklaces favoured by Aishwarya Rai's Rani Jodha and grooms decked out in maharaja-esque diamante turbans brooches.
At one mehendi ceremony that was recently held in a plush five-star hotel in Mumbai, the bride showed up in a Shakuntala-style saree and jewellery made of fresh flowers. Friends gushed at her 'beautiful simplicity' and elders whispered about how dying traditions were safe again as the demure bride made a Bollywood entry, barefoot, into the carpeted hall.
Sari draper Dolly Jain, who says she can drape fabric in 125 different styles, says the "mythological drape" is in. What is a mythological drape? "You know like the dhoti sari, Rani of Jhansi Laxmibai style, " she clarifies. Jain says that ancient drapes are making a comeback because they let you flaunt your figure.
A Mumbai wedding planner says the trousseau too has jumped onto the time machine. "Sometimes brides ask for vintage things like paan petis even though few people use them these days. Then there are vintage kitsch clutches and jewellery designs reminiscent of Mohenjodaro but replicated in gold, " she says.
Jewellery and fashion designer Meera Mittal says that ancient styles of jewellery are often revived and re-revived because women are always looking for something outside the mundane. "These styles of jewellery take you back to a different time and to far-away places. Besides, who doesn't enjoy feeling like royalty every now and then?" she says.
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