as soon as i arrived in karachi i barely had time for a shower and a nap before i was fitted for clothes and whisked away to the first (of many) wedding ceremonies. initially, farhan was not supposed to attend roohi’s “mayun” because the bride and groom should not see one another. but roohi’s family invited him anyway with the understanding that he’d stay far away from his bride to be. little did they know the devious nature of farhan’s friend… me. toward the end of the night roohi was telling me she wanted to see farhan and one of her friends basically dared me to bring him to the stage where roohi was receiving guests. i was, of course, obliged to unite the couple. i ran off to find farhan, took him by the arm and said, “come with me.” he said, “are you kidding?” but i wasn’t. farhan looked pretty nervous sitting next to roohi as everyone giggled and took pictures… not because of his bride, but because of her very upset grandmother. so i got him in a little trouble. but he had just flown all the way in from america to meet his bride! the romantic in me had to intervene.
during the mayun, the bride’s head is covered so you can barely see her face. throughout the first several ceremonies the bride is supposed to be bashful. this took a lot of effort on roohi’s part as she is anything but bashful. here you can barely see her laughing from behind her veil. mayun colors are yellow, green and red… all of which roohi was wearing.
as women offer prayers and sing songs, different family members and friends come up to bless the bride. roohi held a leaf in her hand as people came up to smear things on it (like henna). women would also take money, circle it around roohi’s head three times, and then put it before her. this money is then collected and given to the poor. then they give her sweet things to eat, similar to donut holes. i was mesmerized by this whole process.