Once the pregnancy settles in, as in the first ‘fragile’ trimester is over – once you can safely start declaring to the world that you are pregnant – the first thing that invariably comes to all the Indian Mother-In-Laws and Moms-to-Be is how will they do the ‘Godh Bharai’ ceremony. We Indians, love our festivals and love our celebrations – and never miss any opportunity to carry out elaborate ceremonies, pujas and lavish feasts. Such is the tale of ‘Godh Bharai’! It is basically a ceremony in the honour of the new member of the family, who is still in the mother’s womb, but is going to join the family soon – and this is the family’s first opportunity to bless the child for a happy and secure entry into the world and the blissful life that follows. ‘Godh Bharai’ is the Hindi word – while in the different parts of the country – thanks to our cultural diversity – it is called by various other names – From ‘Shrimant’ in Gujrati to ‘Dohale Jevan’ in Marathi to ‘Valakapu’ in Tamil to ‘Shaad’ in Bengali and so on. Though the intricacies of the ceremonies change according to regions and cultures; the overall essence is the same – To Bless the Mother and the child in her Womb.
Here are some quick tips to make your ‘Godh Bharai’ interesting, personalised, not too heavy on you, fun, novel – though retaining all it’s traditional flavour and customs.
*** WHAT TO WEAR
Most of the women opt for our ever-so-stylish and never-out-of-fashion ‘Saree’. Some may go in for Lehengas or Salwar Kameez as well. I would say stick to what you are comfortable in (not pyjamas of course!!) You can chose whatever you wish to wear – just ensure that you are comfortable in it. Gone are those days – when you could wear a 10kg lehenga as a Bride – this time around things are going to be slightly difficult. All those fabrics that made you look gorgeous – could all itch and make you sweat extra and make you uncomfortable. Remember you got to wear what you are going to wear for at least a couple of hours. And it’s your day – you don’t want to be constantly cursing yourself inside for your choice of outfit. Opt for fabrics that look rich and flamboyant but are easy flowing and light on the body. Especially for the saree or lehenga – where the weight is going to be on the tummy – ensure you tie the knot at the right position – preferably slightly higher – it will help balance the weight of the fabric better – without giving you the suffocating feeling!
*** MATCH WITH YOUR HUSBAND
One of those occasions when again you can get your way going while choosing your husband’s attire. Make him match your colour – that will be an extra touch. Long long ago – you had clicked fancy pictures together – in the best of your Indian wears – when you once got married. This one is again your day – the child inside belongs to the both of you. Though the ceremony usually revolves around the ‘mother’, good to make the ‘father’ at least a part of it in ‘colour’!!!
Floral jewellery is a growing trend – remember Miss Basu adorning some beautiful pink flowers for her mehendi very very recently. If all those chunky jewellery is making you feel hot or irritating your skin (you never know pregnancy could do anything!) – Go in for those floral embellishments. Especially if you haven’t already tried it during any of your wedding functions – this could be a ‘new look’ for you!!
If you have the patience and the enthusiasm still left in you to get proper, intricate mehendi done – here are a few designs that are specially meant for this occasion.
If not – you could just do the tops and a circle in the centre – like the good old days – and add the floral hand charm.
For some more fun – one could even try putting some henna to your tummy.
Mostly people do this function at their place – do not hire fancy banquets. If you have a function outside the house – you could go any limit with the decoration. But if you are also, like all those others, doing a make shift thing at your place and decoration just means adding some touch of colour and glitz to the house — Try Indian this time around – as most of the people have traditional customs and themes. All those fancy pink and blue baby shower decoration, you can keep for your round two – when the baby is out and you are doing the actual baby shower – his / her naming ceremony.
Whatever be the occasion – deserts and that too a cake is always welcome! Here are some fun ideas for the cake. You could have an traditional looking cake or the one with ‘the expecting you’ on it or with a baby bump or a collage of your and your husband’s pictures through the pregnancy welcoming the child.
*** WANT TO ADD SOME FUN
You add some fun by giving all the family members a ‘Sash’ or a ‘Crown’, with their relation with the child. For Eg – ‘Mom to be’ ‘Dad to be’ ‘Masi to be’ ‘Nani to be’ Chacha to be’ and so on. Once the puja and other rituals are through – you guys can add on these fun elements.
*** RELAX – Even if you were the one planning the whole thing!!
It is not your wedding this time around. So control the ‘control freak’ organiser cum planner in you. Even if you were the one who planned the whole thing – on the ‘d day’ – leave it to others. Once, while you were a bride in control, you could still manage to look gorgeous and be in charge. This time you don’t need to stress yourself through it. The damage is done – the baraatis are your family now (wink!!) they will not judge you anymore – if that’s what you are worried about – what will the guests think! It’s alright. Sit there in the middle and be happy. Let your baby hear the blessings without having disturbed by the noise in your head.