Earlier this week, while walking through the bylanes inside Jaisalmer Fort, I noticed something very unique. The walls outside many houses had identical graffiti painted. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the paintings were actually wedding invitations!
Our guide, Satish bhaiyya who had been sent with us by Club Mahindra Jaisalmer resort where we were putting up, was a local of Jaisalmer. He explained that this unique method of drawing graffiti wedding invitations on the walls was an age old tradition which was still followed by all.
A week before the wedding, the invitation is painted on the wall next to the entrance of the house. The invitation includes names of the bride and the groom, the date of the ceremony and an image of Lord Ganesha along with kalash and swastika. You can know if the son of the house is getting married or the daughter is, depending on the placement of the names. If the daughter’s name is placed before, then this is the bride’s house.
This practice is old, and dates back to many decades ago. However, it is equally appreciated by the present generation and not really forced upon them. The entire society is on the same page and this unique way of making news of a marriage in a family certainly makes the people of Jaisalmer different and far ahead of times. Not only is a lot of paper saved, but money and effort saved are also used in more productive purposes.
The invitations remain on the wall until there is another wedding in the family, and that could be years later too. When the next wedding comes up, the invitation is replaced with the new one and that stays up until the next wedding.
The streets and bylanes of Jaisalmer, specially inside the fort area, are populated by houses on both sides and every turn brings one face to face with a wedding invitation. It was a delight to walk through the narrow lanes, kept spotlessly clean, and chancing upon the various graffiti invitations on the walls of the houses. About the houses, people, shops and feel of the Jaisalmer Fort, I’ll need to write a separate post.
Below are few more pictures of graffiti wedding invitations of Jaisalmer.