You Are Invited !

Wedding Invitation on wallEver asked a street painter to paint an invite on an external wall of your house or your neighbor’s wall? No, I am sure no one has. Even I never knew of any such practice until I visited Jaisalmer , a small town in the state of Rajasthan, with ornate havelis (large houses of rich men), fort, camel, leather bags and belts , sand dunes and all other Rajasthani things which you may or may not know.

This is a marriage invitation painted on the wall with the image of  Hindu god Lord Ganesha(Ganesha is the most auspicious among all Hindu gods. Also read https://shomaabhyankar.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/elephant-headed-god-lord-ganesh/ ). There are names of five couples and their marriage dates on this unique invitation with each new date being added later without destroying the first painted invitation.

This practice of wall invitations started during the days of kings and queens. Back then it was a way of not only informing the village but also to show off the popularity and riches of the hosting family. The number of guests would endorse the hosting party’s social status and their hospitality. The practice still continues though it is almost extinct except in small villages and within old fort walls of Jaisalmer. It may not look a very advanced practice as far as all  developed countries’ standards but imagine how much paper it saves and in turn trees!! Also who ever reads the invitation and plans to become a part of it, is hosted well and not turned away thus glorifying the Indian tradition of ” Atithi Devo Bhavah”  meaning   “Guest is God“.

I still might not opt for such an invitation though, not only because it makes the wall of my house difficult to repaint but also because I do not have means to host an entire town….inflation!! But I am surely impressed by this paper saving idea…and I guess It happens only in India !!

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About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
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One Response to You Are Invited !

  1. Pingback: The Land Of Royals, Jaisalmer | Astonishing India

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