Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Presence in blessings only

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The first time I saw Chi and Sow, it seemed like nothing more than funny 3 letter combinations.That was a Telugu Wedding card if I remember correctly.
Plus,the girl had Chi and Sow while the guy had only Chi before his name.Asking around I learnt that Chi was for Chiranjeevi and Sow was Sowbhagyavathi.
Chiranjeevi meant nothing more than Aswathama(the only Chiranjeevi I knew) and the Telugu actor Chiranjeevi to me then. Quite unfair that the groom did not have any prefix that was equivalent to Sow…why not Sowbhagyavaan?
(So Chiranjeevi’s wedding card would have had it as Chi.Chiranjeevi? :D)

Another peculiar thing I noticed in non Malayalee wedding cards was the yellow color on the corners.During those times, the most alien card I could have come across was a Tamil, Telugu or a Kannada wedding card. And on and off some of them had the yellow corners. Some even had red smears on them.The yellow was turmeric water smeared for purity,hygiene etc I understood later.

With or without the Chis,and Sows, the yellow smears, wedding cards caught my attention. Many a times, one could easily find a typo in a card.Thanks to the Printer’s Devils, the typos would sometimes be really funny something like “Presence in blessings only” and in some cases like this use of spell check worsened it.

Then there used to be some cards which almost had the visiting card details of the bride and the groom. Like working with Chi.Sow Amala (Software Engineer,Doubtsourcing Inc.,now on site in Minneapolis) or Chi.Srinivas (MBA-Random Institute of Management) or even worse Sow.Lavanya(MBBS-Pursuing 3rd year).

Mallu wedding cards thankfully don’t contain such details, may be they are too humble ;)

Coming to North Indian wedding cards, it has a part which Southies like me have no clue of.Since I am yet to attend one, I have no clue what Sangeet is.And half their cards’ space is taken by details of Sangeet.

With Indianisation-Globalisation happening these days, you get to see even Mallu wedding cards with a sketch of Baarat or Doli!!!.(When in school I used to wonder what baarat ? I could simply not relate to the meaning even when explained to me). Some even have the Sangeet clip art on it, beat that! Since it is the same card templates and clip arts that are used across India(or world),you would rarely see a Guruvayoorappan , Vilakk (Lamp) or Para these days on Mallu wedding cards .Its the cliched set of symbols like this.

Come what may,there is some unity in the text.Solicit,Esteemed,Gracious,Auspicious,Cordially-the set of words which are unavoidable in a wedding card.

First I thought it was some smart printer in India who came up with these 3 or so templates that later became popular. Invites are usually in third person and it would say Mrs and Mr.A cordially invite your esteemed presence with family on the occasion of the wedding of their son _____ and …. or cordially invite you and your family to grace the auspicious occasion of the marriage of their son ____..

May be some printer thought why their son’s wedding , it should be our son’s wedding and so we get occasional breaks from cards framed in third person.

Why do some cards invite us with family and friends? May be they are jus’ being extra nice .

The fact is that it has been like this for ages!! May be it is a remnant of the how the monks used to craft wedding invites during the Middle Ages.May be writing in third person was to bring in a formal touch to these cards.Many a times, the terms wedding and marriage are used interchangeably in the Indian context(cards)

Only very few people act like Grammar Nazis and do a thorough proof reading of the wedding invite(template) that a printer suggests. So,in most cases a mistake remains a mistake, and it continues until someone points it out to them.Only a small percentage of cards do actually come typo free, error free in grammar,punctuation etc.
Post Script: Why can’t weddings be sponsored?
Think about the number of foot falls, eyeballs.
Atleast 80-90% of the invitees would come for the event. Almost all will have a good look at the card.
What if there is an LCD screen at the venue that displays ads?

Some Creative inputs for this image TDP

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1 SaberaNo Gravatar { 05.01.08 at 8:47 pm }

I was invited to a Tamil wedding when I was interning in Chennai and I was taken aback as I approached the venue. It was at a 3 star hotel and the entrance, ie the gate had the names of the bride and groom in flowers, and i couldn’t believe my eyes on what I saw next. Neatly typed on 2 separate A3 size sheets were all the qualifications (in detail) of both the newly weds. I couldn’t believe what I saw…has a marriage fallen to that level in that culture. I don’t mean to generalise but another Tamil girl who came with me for the wedding said that on most weddings they do put up these details…wow…

As someone whose getting married soon, I am aghast…

2 SampadaNo Gravatar { 05.01.08 at 11:55 pm }

ROTFL! I’ve never come across any hilarious typos, although I look for them really hard. Really boring ones.

I wait to be invited to some ‘mone’s’ or ‘mole’s’ wedding someday!

3 | Balu |No Gravatar { 05.02.08 at 1:19 pm }

Sponsors? ROTFL
for like 10-15 min.. also made my friends read it — now all of us ROTFL!)

4 MacadamiaTheNut { 05.02.08 at 2:22 pm }

I’ve often wondered about those intricate wedding cards. Mostly because I’ve witnessed many a ‘scrape-the-baby’s-poop-off-the-floor’ scenarios when some unsuspecting victim’s wedding card, err, featured(?) quite prominently :D

5 GWBENo Gravatar { 05.02.08 at 2:55 pm }

Shey! Late aakkiyalla maashe! I should have given some sponsors some ad-space in my wedding card!

It isn’t too late for you yet :)
It will be good to have an airline sponsor your honeymoon tickets and hotel stay and someone else sponsor the shopping and sightseeing :)

6 DhanyaNo Gravatar { 05.02.08 at 7:00 pm }

ROFL I also used to wonder about the ‘chi’ n ‘sow’ initially. And yeh putting up the complete qualification looks like a must in tamil n telugu weddings. I’ve seen many such cards.. Hope mallu’s doesn’t imitate them :P

7 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 05.02.08 at 7:08 pm }

That may have been ur first experiece.Everybody in that region does that.

I will invite you for mine, though I dont have a Mon attached ;)

Da, may be you should take a cue from it

Thanks for the idea. I have hope. Need to work on the sponsorship rates. ;)

Oh! Chi.Sow Dhanya ;)

8 pratsNo Gravatar { 05.03.08 at 6:38 am }

Lol….oh yes…this has trouble dme for ages…especially the ‘chi’ and ‘sow’ .
And while I was in school…I always knew sow to be some piggy…wasn’t she??? so that confused me more…thank god!!! I din’t voice my thoughts aloud then.

Nowadays the high profile people are coming out with books for invites….with photographs of the boy an dgirl, their childhood et all….
album’vites anyone???

9 | Balu |No Gravatar { 05.03.08 at 7:22 am }

Sure lol will!

10 AnnieNo Gravatar { 05.03.08 at 4:19 pm }

ok… so here’s proof that I came here and even checked the comments :P I must agree with prats above… I always thought it was unkind to call the bride-to-be a pig on her wedding invite!

I’ve seen many north indian invites that schedule some ceremonies for “taaaron ki chchaaon mein”…. how conveniently they avoid giving us an estimate of the actual time!

11 VinayakNo Gravatar { 05.04.08 at 7:24 am }

The scene in North isn’t much different.

12 Adorable PancreasNo Gravatar { 05.04.08 at 2:26 pm }

The first time I saw those, I thought the bridegroom was very ugly and the girl was a very ugly sow! I think I was about 12 at the time. :)

13 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 05.04.08 at 5:16 pm }

Book invites, never knew this….have seen such things in online version thoh

Ya, proof!
Taaron ki chchaaon mein..whats this now??

India is one :-)

Similar abhadham for me.
I thought Vikalangar mean Men , because buses had Vikalangar and Streekal :D

14 Anjana Rames { 05.06.08 at 8:26 am }

Great Idea about Sponsorship. Hey,this could be the BIG ONE :).

15 Ren { 05.06.08 at 9:36 pm }

Buddy ! Great one ! I always used to laugh at “Resume Wedding Cards “

16 shams.. { 05.09.08 at 5:51 pm }

hehe, I know the first time I saw a wedding card with qulification “MSc blah blah working blah blah” i was shocked n happy tht malluland dont follow {till now) something of tht sort…
a few days somebody gave me a card writen in kannada, and I managed to say that ‘I would try to come’ and he is like,”yes,please, the address is written propoerly in the card”!!! as if i knew to read it ;) pinne paavam manushayn alle ennu vijaarichitu onnum parayaan poyilla njan :D!!!!

17 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 05.11.08 at 11:51 am }

Yes,I am going ahead with the idea.Kalyanam aavumbol vilikkam.You can fly down at somebody else’s cost.
Hope u dont mind ;)

Thanks machu

Thanks for dropping by.

18 Goda { 05.11.08 at 4:42 pm }

Good read! Actually sometime back even I had the idea of sponsored weddings so that there is no cribbing from the groom’s side about bad services. It could bring down dowry deaths too where part of dowry is paid by the sponsors ( though not publicly – it is illegal!)

19 Tinkerbells { 05.14.08 at 5:49 am }

Sponsored weddings are actually already happeing…even in Tvm..a prominent doc’s son recently got married and we got the invitations delivered to us by a medical lab..don’t remember whether the lab’s name featured in the card though !

20 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 05.14.08 at 9:56 am }

I dint include cash sponsorships.
oh damn! I need to get married fast.. Have started talking to companies ;)

21 Ajay PathakNo Gravatar { 05.14.08 at 4:05 pm }

this picture is really gr8 . it’s nice to see some this type of images also over the internet

22 Vinod { 05.15.08 at 12:56 am }

Interesting Post!

Sowbhagyavathi in Sanskrit means “one whose husband is alive” or “unwidowed”. That is why “Sow” applies only to the bride.

According to some traditions, it is considered lucky if the husband outlives the wife – thus the wife will always be Sowbhagyavathi.

23 Raghunandan S NNo Gravatar { 05.16.08 at 6:56 am }

Mr Spooner adds more to the humour.

I have seen “Blessings in presents only” in one of the wedding cards!! Who knows, they probably intended it.

24 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 05.22.08 at 5:37 pm }

Thanks for the info. :-)
Tnx, LOL!

25 Ms CrisNo Gravatar { 06.12.08 at 11:16 am }

Ah ok this is the post I meant to comment on. Here you go – my original comment I intially posted elsewhere.

LOL. I wish someone would take this idea seriously – about sponsors I mean. Cause noone is obviously considering wedding expenditures a waste of good money. So it would do a world of good if sponsors did the money-wasting part, since that is part of their job everyday- Wasting money.

Sorry about flooding your inbox in case you have email alerts for each comment.

26 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.12.08 at 12:59 pm }

@Ms Cris
Thanks for the comment.
I may try it out soon (hoping that I get married sometime soon :D )

Can you help me with a sponsorship brochure?

27 maddyNo Gravatar { 06.22.08 at 5:12 pm }

chiranjivis wedding card would turn out to be govinda’s wedding – chi chi is govinda right? but imagine the late sowcar janaki – sow sow..

28 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.22.08 at 6:22 pm }

LOL, ya chichi is Govinda!
sow sow…its like bow bow :D

29 Shrinidhi HandeNo Gravatar { 07.02.08 at 2:44 pm }


Wedding card is sent to thousands of people-So much advertising space-obviously it shouldn’t be wasted…

30 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.03.08 at 5:05 am }

You said it
From a marketeers point of view-there is a huge loss!

31 PoojaNo Gravatar { 07.30.08 at 10:17 pm }

Mallu wedding cards thankfully don’t contain such details, may be they are too humble ;)


And boring :-)

Sangeet is my favorite part in a wedding, dancing, singing … real celebration.
Having been married in both ways (south indian & north indian, I can vouch that it was definitely a lot more fun for me and the guests at the sangeet)

32 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.31.08 at 12:48 pm }

I agree with you.
Mallu weddings are quick and boring but for the food :(

33 PoojaNo Gravatar { 08.01.08 at 12:52 am }

Yeah the food is yummy! I think the guests come only for the food. I go for the food only!

34 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 08.01.08 at 6:07 am }

@Me too :-)
Only sad part here is everything is on a fast forward. You have to finish your food in 10-15 minutes. Wedding ceremony is for like..7-8 minutes.


35 SravNo Gravatar { 10.02.08 at 3:58 am }

rofl!! :D I m not adding any extra comments cuz of the very patriotic gult in me :D

36 NikhilNo Gravatar { 10.02.08 at 12:41 pm }

@Chi. Sow Srav (Phd-pursuing)
Danke ;)

37 Abha DawesarNo Gravatar { 08.26.09 at 7:42 pm }

Why has no one thought of monetizing these weddings before? And it could be done for a good cause. You should try to find a blueprint that could work!

38 NikhilNo Gravatar { 08.26.09 at 8:03 pm }

Thanks for the visit. :-) Honored.
Shall do that.[re blueprint]
Landed on your page.Now,will get the books.

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