Thanks to some recent hits in Bollywood like Devdas, Vicky Donor, Barfi to name a few, Bengali weddings have suddenly become popular among youth even outside Bengal. In these films the Bengali wedding have been shown in a really grand and attractive way. The ritual that most signifies a Bengali style wedding is the ritual of Shubho Drishti, where the bride covers her face with a betel leaf and is carried by her brothers on a peeri (wooden plank meant to be used to sit on the floor) and take seven rounds of the bridegroom before being face to face with him for the ‘Shubho Drishti’ Literally it means ‘auspicious sight’ In traditional arranged marriages, the boy and girl never used to see each other until this moment. This used to be the time when they would see each other for the first time. The bride is supposed to keep her face covered with betel leaf unless all seven rounds of the bridegroom is complete. After that the couple is covered by a ‘lajja bastra’ and are asked to see each other. The idea is that their eyes would meet. These days of course in most cases the couple already know each other. But it still is a very fun ritual where even the girls doing a love marriage feel shy to look at the boy. The friends and family get a lot of opportunity for leg pulling and the scene becomes full of laughter and joy. After the shubho drishti the bride and the groom exchange garlands, this being the equivalent of a Jaimal in a north Indian wedding.
Here are some of the Shubho Drishti shots from my Candid Wedding Photography Portfolio.