Sarika Weds Baabu in Sagai Forest Village

It was a cloudy afternoon in Sagai, a forest village after spending a tiring morning in the forest searching a very specific bird. With little disappointment we were seating under the roof in forest campsite, and the forest was at rest, it was dead still. From the farthest, I heard drum beats breaking the silence of the forest, and I saw bunch of villagers running in the same direction.

 

 

There was a wedding ceremony happening in the temple, so I just picked a camera and started running with the villagers to see the bride and the groom. I reached near the temple but I was little hesitant to penetrate the crowd to make pictures of the newly wed couple.

 

 

And somebody shouted from the mob, ’come on get inside, our photographer has left early, please take pictures of the couple.’ And I was as happy with the pleasant surprise. Without having a second thought I went to the temple stairs and started my job as I appointed and made few family portraits.

 

 

But now the situation became more intense when bride got to know that she has to leave her family forever to settle amongst the whole new bunch of people. Her father was gentle trying to pull her away from her sister but she was into her dippiest grief and gloomiest happiness. She wasn’t ready yet. Her brother Akshay came to her and as per the ritual he carried her into his arms and trying to get her into the car, which was already waiting on the road.

 

 

Her mother, sister, father and rest of the family and friends were following Akshay and Sarika with wet eyes.
Boys were still beating the drums at the highest pitch but now the sound of crying took over the ambience completely and shades turned into mourned colours. She wanted to go back where she used to belong until few hours; to her village and the family but this is the paradox of life where social system and orthodox rituals have no practical or logical relations at all. Every one following Akshay carrying his sister Sarika, were crying as she was departing towards a new set of lives. These villages have no interconnectivity except a bus passes once in a day, mobile networks are impossible, thus everyday talks with her family is not imaginable. All the thoughts must have put her in a state of mind where her heart is still not leaving from there.

 

Her ‘Henna (Mehndhi)’ full of her arms was telling the story of all the wedding rituals she would have performed. She was crying like anything and made rest of the relatives also crying; she was not ready to leave the hands, and was continuously trying to catch one or the other hands. It was indeed a war passage, where groom side family was trying to pull her inside the care and she was jumping away like as if they are taking her as a war prisoner.

 

 

Some how they managed to settle her into the car, and now finally groom’s uncle was now ready to drive the car to their village, and he slowly started moving and Sarika’s family was running behind the car until the car picked up the speed.

 

 

Today I am sending them the pictures as their memory, but they will remain unaware of thoughts I am explaining here on this blog. What a life, where an unexpected storm of emotions hit me so hard. This whole episode will always remain very close to my heart.

Fore better quality pictures click on the link below
Sarika Weds Baabu in Sagai Forest Village

With best regards to Sarika & Baabu for their best future together
-Saurabh Desai