If you are 80, and stay married still (to the same person) ; and if your grown up children and their kids wish it, you are entitled to Sadabishekam - wedding celebration, all over again, with the pomp and ceremony of the real thing.
My uncle Padmanabha chittappa and Sambu sitti had the credentials , and got re-married the other day at Pollachi, their home town, in in the presence of over 300 invitees. It was an occasion for a grand family re-union ; it was a happy congregation of three generations of the Pollachi family.
I could sense my uncle relishing every bit of the experience ; and my sitti complied with the stress and strain of the rituals cheerfully, despite her poor health. The rituals included a ceremonial cold water shower, when three generations of relations line up to pour pots of water over the Sadabishekam couple. The water pouring ritual continued for several minutes, as sitti-chittappa’s relations turned up in strength to participate in the proceedings.
A sadabishekam ceremony entails nearly all the rituals of the first-time wedding minus the honeymoon. The first time , it was the couple’s parents who conducted the marriage. It is chittapa-sitti’s children, and their children who did the honours this time around. Parents of both – sitti and chittappa - were remembered on the occasion. I wish I had asked chittappa how it was for him, when he married my sitti the first time. A framed and faded wedding photo, black & white, hangs on the living-room wall at his Pollachi home. They had no video camera those days. In refreshing contrast this time, everyone with a cell phone was seen taking pictures at my chittappa-sitti’s Sadabishekam.
My Take on the sadabishekam is uploaded in YouTube.
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