Bommai Kalyanam - 2008
Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation celebrated the "Marapaachi Bommai
Kalyanam" (wedding of the wooden dolls) on 27th April 2008, as a part of
its sixth annual Balar Chithirai Kalai Vizha, at Sri Dakshinamurthy Auditorium,
Mylapore. The Mylapore Trio - S.Surendranath, S.Amarnath and S.Aparna,
"Sakala Kala Valli" Revathy Sankkaran, members and children of the Foundation
conducted the Doll Wedding with Aattam, Paattam and Kondaattam. It was
an eye opener and a new experience to the younger generation. The wedding
was conducted in a traditional manner headed by Revathy Sankkaran, who
presented the show in a very lively, interesting and fascinating manner,
peppered with lot of information about customs and traditions. Her songs,
lyrics, dialogues, abinayam and bhavam, enthralled the audience.
The wedding began with a Mangala Nadhaswaram, Maapillai azhaipu, Kaasi yathirai, Maalai Maatral (exchange of garlands), Kan Unjal, Maangalya Dharanam, Aarathi, Paaligai – Kummi Kolaatam, Nalangu and Mangalam. A group of girls and boys trained by the Mylapore Trio rendered traditional marriage songs, according to the sequence, which was highly appreciated by one and all. Little girls performed Kolaattam. Another group of girls who were dressed up in Madisar or 9 yards sari, who took up sides (as bride and groom family) enacted appropriate roles in the wedding. To top it all, an octogenarian lady Ponnamal Gopalaswami was called upon stage to tie the Thali (mangalsutra) to the 2 feet bride Parimalam (groom – Palathope Vakil Peran – Seemachu).
list of Seer (parents' gifts for marriage) vessels was awesome. The seer
items included an array of antique vessels, batchanam – 3 varieties of
Paruppu Thengai Koodu, Murukku, Adirasam, Laddu, Kopprai carving, Sakkara
Achu Bommais, Maida Cake in the form of Saree and Dothi, Vilayadal Saman
(toys) included various dresses, jewellery, makeup set, antique wooden
and maakal choppu samaan, an array of bead work, Kasi Yatirai props, and
most of them were hand made by the children of the Foundation.
In short, this
wedding created an impact and awareness among the younger generation, and
a time to reminiscence for the old and turned the town (Mylapore) red.
Many requested the Foundation, that this custom of Marapaachi wedding,
with all its paraphernalia be repeated in other parts of the city and abroad
too. The rasikas felt that the Foundation should continue to revive such
customs and conventions based on tradition and culture, which are becoming