The top photograph is my parents Wedding Invitation Card and it is 79 years old! It is in Telugu, and as you can see it is very elaborate. The Invitation is extended by my paternal grandfather Sri. Narayanaraopeta Lakshminarasaiah garu. My father was 14 & 1/2 years old and my mother 9 & ½ years old at the time of their marriage in 1930. I am told that around this time there was talk of introduction of legislation prohibiting child marriages by enforcing Sharada Act. So a record number of child marriages were performed throughout the country in 1930.
At the top of the Invitation is a Sloka in Sanskrit which states about the importance of marriage and seeks the blessings of Gods, especially Lord Vishwakarma for the prosperity of the newlywed couple and their family. This is followed by the details of the marriage as quoted below.
“The Vedic pundits have decided the auspicious day and time for the marriage of my third son, Chiranjeevi Bhaskarachary with Chiranjeevi Sowbagyavathi Eshwaramma the eldest daughter of Sri. Bellary Brahmaiah bava garu, as Pramodootha Nama Samvatsaram (Name of Telugu Year), Vaishaka Masam (Name of Telugu Month), Bahula Thadiya (Particulars of the day), at 1:45 Hrs. on the night of Guruvaram (Thursday), 15th May 1930, that is early hours of 16th May 1930. The marriage will be performed at the bride’s residence at Pioneer Bazaar, Bolarum, Secunderabad. Sadasyamu is on Bahula Panchami Shanivaramu, that is on Saturday 17th May. Poota (Reception) is on Bahula Shasti Aadivaramu, that is on Sunday 18th May and Phala Pradhanam and Nagabhali are on Somavaramu, that is on Monday 19th May 1930.”
This is followed by a very extensive request asking the invitees to attend the functions along with family and friends and bless the couple abundantly and receive the hospitality offered in the form of Flowers, Rose water, Sumptuous meals and Thamboolam and make the wedding ceremonies a grand success. Towards the end of the invitation there are modest requests made by my grandfather: “If there are any mistakes or inconvenience caused to you through this invitation or at the marriage I may kindly be excused”. And lastly he states: “Unmindful of the summer heat, unmindful of the long distance from which you may have to come, unmindful of the problems you foresee in coming, please attend the marriage ceremonies with love and treat the functions as that of your household.”