I shall mention only, that in all
these ceremonies the astrologer plays the double part of an augur
and a family lawyer. After a general invocation to the elephant-
headed god Ganesha, the marriage contract is written on the reverse
of the horoscopes and sealed, and a general blessing is pronounced
over the assembly.
Needless to say that all these ceremonies had been accomplished
long ago in the family to whose marriage party we were invited in
Bagh. All these rites are sacred, and most probably we, being
mere strangers, would not have been allowed to witness them. We
saw them all later on in Benares - thanks to the intercession of
- - - - -
When we arrived on the spot, where the Bagh cere-mony was celebrated,
the festivity was at its height. The bridegroom was not more than
fourteen years old, while the bride was only ten. Her small nose
was adorned with a huge golden ring with some very brilliant stone,
which dragged her nostril down. Her face looked comically piteous,
and sometimes she cast furtive glances at us. The bridegroom, a
stout, healthy-looking boy, attired in cloth of gold and wearing
the many storied Indra hat, was on horseback, surrounded by a whole
crowd of male relations.
The altar, especially erected for this occasion, presented a queer
sight. Its regulation height is three times the length of the
bride's arm from the shoulder down to the middle finger.