Being a wedding photographer, I’m always on a look out for stories that are different. Stories that I’d love to tell if to a group of folks in a silent room. Stories of people who are a tad different from everyone else. And I have been lucky enough to get to shoot a bunch of them over the years.
This one however will take you a step ahead even from the most off-beat and interesting stories on this blog. Partly because of the tradition you’ll see and partly because of the people you’ll discover through this journey of the fusion of two Indian Rajpoot Gharanas.
Meet Aradhana. For some unknown reasons, she liked what I do and decides that I’d be her wedding photographer. While I thank her for that, passing her exam was quite a tough task 😛 And why not, every bride to be has thousands of questions when she decides to zero it down to who will be shooting her wedding. Aradhana however, just had a million more 😀
That said, the first thing she asked was “Do you like challenges?” I wasn’t sure how to take that. I asked what’s it about? She completed that saying, you won’t be able to see my face in the whole wedding. Life of the wedding photographer in me paused for a second.
We’ll come back to what actually happened to that later. Let me take you to the pre-wedding Mehendi and after-party of Aradhana & Divraj’s magnificent wedding which took place at Council of Social Science and Research, New Delhi, India.
I was before time so had the chance of getting some venue preparation shots too!
The inside lunch area had interesting patterns all around.
And below is Aradhana’s dad. We’ll keep bumping into him through the photographs throughout this and the next post 😀
While the venue was being decorated and everyone was hanging around, it was time for some traditional pooja to give the day a head start.
After the initial ceremony outside, there was this small pooja inside in the room, where I had no room to walk around 😛
Room or no room, emotions are always around :
Aradhana’s grandfather, probably the most respected person in the family always made sure everything was going as per their traditions. Something you’ll see in their wedding as well.
Oh look again!
And after the small pooja, the actual mehendi artists came and Aradhana was occupied.
Moving forward to the evening’s after-party, there was much more than what I’d have expected from a party! A beautiful mix of tradition and culture.
And the bride-to-be arrives!
Talking about the blend of tradition and culture, Ghoomar was the most interesting thing at the party, by far. Over the years, I have seen lot of weddings having this Indian touch of Rajasthani Ghoomar dance where performers are called and they entertain people by the dances. What made this one different was, the people performing the Ghoomar were not outside artists. They were the family ladies who knew every step by heart and performed the dance beautifully!
The elders leading the traditional way!
One very important thing while photographing any dance form is to anticipate when the dancers are going to turn around, in advance. Thankfully because of my experience, I could count the beats and know exactly when they would turn 🙂
How would Aradhana have not joined?
I “loved” their ways of salutation towards the elders in the family.
And while Aradhana performed, her friends also joined in. They were all in “beginner mode” though 😀
However, clearly enjoying and learning the steps!
And after that beautiful bit of tradition, it was time to get on the floor!
And that was Aradhana’s Day one of the celebrations. I’m sure you got a taste of what their wedding was, through this post. In my next post, I’ll take you through one of the most beautiful and traditional weddings I have shot in recent time. And no points for guessing, Aradhana & Divaj. Stay tuned!