I recently attended a relative’s wedding on the Pathare Prabhu side of the family. The Pathare Prabhus, as is known, are among the first settlers in Mumbai. They are distinct from other Maharashtrians in their language and culture. Their language is Marathi, but with usage of Gujarati words, as it is believed they came to Maharashtra from Gujarat in the 12th century. There is another story that says they came from Patan in Nepal.
They are known for their unique rangoli. They also have unique jewellery and even the type of saree a Pathare Prabhu bride wears at the wedding – kasbi - is different.The wedding was traditional, and featured many of the community’s staples.
My sister-in-law Ameeta Desai, the groom’s mother, is wearing motyache rui phula, a type of bangle. Most of her jewellery is made of pearls. Parbhus call the nath or nose ornament, the waali. Ameeta vahini is also wearing earrings called kaap.
See her gold veni
My other sister-in-law, Akshada Talpade, is wearing the kasbi saree, a Pathare Prabhu speciality. The border is handwoven jari work.
The bride, Shweta Kothare, in a pink saree before the phulabharna ceremony. This is a function held before the wedding, to get together the bride and groom and the new in-laws. The bride is given jewellery and clothes, and a festive meal is prepared. The bride is also bedecked with flowers.
Shweta in the saree given to her at phulabharna
Her sat or floral hair do. The traditional one has flowers in three colours.
The ankle-length floral mundawlya are also another Pathare Prabhu wedding speciality.
The newly-wedded couple, Akshay Desai – my second cousin’s son, and Shweta.