Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Sangeet!! The theory behind the madness!!

Pictures at End Of the Post! Stories series #1

I remember being about 18, attending my first Sangeet function of a relatives' wedding festivities. Now, it was the first time that I felt that Marriage is totally worth it. For that one event. Maybe it was shallow or flaky or plain stupid for me to think that, but at that time, I certainly thought so. 

That marriage however, didn't work out, but people around me still spoke of the Sangeet, or their experience of that event. 

Then, my first sangeet happened where I was asked to be a part of. A major part. It was of a very dear friend, someone I grew up with. So, together with all other close friends, we came up with a story line, list of songs and then practiced the dances and then - it happened. Oh! What fun! 

It was then that I felt like it was something I loved to do; A passion for something. I have always felt that I'm not passionate about anything in life; but suddenly - lo and behold! there it was. Now, how many sangeets can I imagine being a part of? It was not some event that everyone necessarily had as a part of their wedding festivities, Also, since this event is mainly meant for close family and friends only, how many can I possibly be a part of? Now this logical thinking enforced in me by daddy dearest, made me refuse to consider this as my sole profession. [How I wish I could be Deepika Mallar, Sangeet Specialist

Then came the few I was actually majorly involved in - cousins and close friends, and every single time I loved it. So much so that, I had decided, if ever, I decide to get married, I'll have a Sangeet ceremony and then get married in court :) Well, I realised since prepping for my actual marriage, that, there are less than 4% chances of you able to do the things YOU want to do to actually happen at your wedding. And with that 4% you need to be very happy! :) :)

MY SANGEET

21 April 2015

It had to be special and spectacular, right? For me, it was. I wanted everyone present to feel the way I felt when I attended my first Sangeet. The same magic. I wanted people to be involved, I wanted people to express themselves and I wanted there to be lots and lots of dance. [I LOVE DANCE]
The prep had started in my head since the 18 year old me had seen the first sangeet; more concrete preparations began with venue and decor. Now, in my workplace, I had been a part of the Events team for over two years and I knew what is necessary raw material for a good event. Now the difference between a corporate event and your wedding is, that the funding doesn't come from a Parent company sitting in Palo Alto in dollars, but from a loving dad, who seldom charges not more than Rs. 80 per patient [perks, or not, of being a doctor's kid]; The decor was however, beautifully done in a nice Rajasthani theme by my event vendor.

First: The Entertainment!

The songs, the story line. I wanted to involve everyone in the party into the sangeet. Being a bollywood junkie that I am, I felt that most people, would be interested in how our love story began, and how through its ups and downs did we manage to end a 10 year long association to culminate in marriage. So, that's what I did. Funnily and fortunately for me, our love story of sorts had a lot of drama. The highs, the lows, the beginnings, the interim ends, the travels and the joys. So, I picked my songs for every milestone and discussed and deliberated till we came to a common consensus. 

Now, since the husband and his family lived in Delhi, and me and my folks lived in Bangalore, we knew that we cannot have all our close people dance together. So, we had to assign songs to him and me. The other thing was, not everyone dancing had a clue about the story line. So, it was difficult explaining to a relative or friend about why, if it is for a Sangeet, did he or she still have to dance for a sad song. Details of the story in the next post!!

Second: The Game

Another major chunk, that was a part of my Sangeet was the game. Not everyone is interested in gossip and there were also some people who were a major part of our lives that they knew too many details to be interested in a song and dance description of our love life, right? So, I thought, to involve people further lets play Tambola [or Housie]. OK, tambola at a sangeet? what is wrong with you? :P. The speciality of this Tambola was, that, the tickets on which we cross off a number actually contained random bollywood songs. And the songs were to be crossed off when that aspect of the storyline hit the stage. Awesome, no??? :D

The issue with this was, in making the tickets. Which was a time consuming process. To my dismay, there were lot of song changes till the last day! Now, to be able to get the tickets printed and delivered has been a huge another issue. I literally sat all through the night before, to prepare the tickets and email them to the vendor.

Now since, the same songs were going to be used for two specific purposes, I had two of the world's  best MCs!! I couldn't have asked the universe for anything else, because they were the best! MC#1 a dear dear friend, who would go in before the song and explain the situation or give hints of what the next performance was going to be and MC#2 my loving mamaji, who was the Musical Tambola expert and came in after the song to talk about it, involve people in similar songs and make sure people have crossed the said song on the ticket if they had it in theirs. 

I think, one of the best parts of that night had to be, the delay in the tickets arriving at the venue. I was obviously and furiously running helter skelter from pillar to post in tension. I had sooooooooooooooo many people requesting me to calm down; half of them reminding me, that this is not a office event and I need to chill, and the remaining half reminding me, that this is in fact MY wedding function, and I need to at least pretend to behave like a bride, even if I didn't want to. 

So, since I was restless and crazy, and was worried that crowd might get restless too, my Mama, genius that he is, started the program with a small and effective interactive song singing session that everyone loved. Lots of people came up to me, after the event, or even many days later saying, it was a brilliant way to start the program. I can't thank him enough for the brilliant work he did then.

The details of the song and the dances and the rest of the evening, will be my next post. I don't want the magic and happiness of the dance and story to be lost in this long theory post. SO, the next one will have practicals. :P

Big shout outs to everyone involved. Specifics will be mentioned next post. 

Below are some photos of the fun n frolic at the photo booth and of Vishnu Mam's spontaneous start of the show! Enjoy!!

Navs, Ramdas, Pru, Pooj and Suhas

on the rickshaw!

Sudhiranna, Ranjitakka and Suraj babu

Isha, Shilpa and Yashita 

Kunal Khyati & Bua

Sai, Purnima pacchi & Mohan Bappa
The great Vishnu Mam and Rekh Mai
Shantakka & Satish Mam

Vishnu Mam entertaining the crowd




my favourite couple! (also who had a kickass Sangeet)


Brilliant Vishnu Mam :)

The Ticket!
Sukshma, Suri bappa n Neeta pacchi! missing my love Suraksha so much!!!!