BENGALI WEDDING : THE TOPOR CONTROVERSY
For the very traditional Bengali folk, like our grandmothers and great grandmothers, the attire of a Bengali wedding couple is close to the divinity of the Gods. A very traditional Bengali couple would look this this on their wedding day :
However the modern brides and groom of Bengal would disagree. Nowadays many grooms object to wearing a "TOPOR" (a traditional conical headgear made of sholapith, with carvings are done on it to enhance the look further). Grooms today consider Topor to be more feminine. I can recall a friend of mine saying " My husband will not wear a thermo cole headgear with pom poms ". Well to think of it that way, it is kind of funny...........
What it is about the Topor anyway, that has us Bengalis hooked so much?
Traditionally, the Topor is the conventional headgear of the Bengali groom. It is usually white in colour, and is made from sholapith, which is the sponge wood plant or the cork tree.
According to legend, the Topor was created by Lord Shiva, because he wanted a special crown or a type of headgear for his wedding ceremony. He commissioned Vishwakarma to design a special head gear for him. Vishwakarma was used to handling hard materials and hence could not manage using soft wood. Seeing Vishwakarma's total failure, he summoned Malakar a very handsome and artistic young man, who carved the soft wood in a conical shape to form the Topor. Since then all Bengali groom don the Topor on their wedding day. I mean even if they don't want to, they have to.
|Behold! the iconic Topor|
Such was the case for a friend of mine, who married a Bengali boy bought up in Delhi. As you can well imagine, being bought up in Delhi he didn't quite like the idea of a "dhuti" and a "topor". He wanted to keep it as simple and minimal and elegant as possible. However, he could not get out of wearing a "dhuti".
But he managed to convince everyone to wear the Topor only when the actual ceremony would take place and not for the entire event. He kept the Topor far away during his wedding photo shoot.
I think there are certain things Bengalis can and should think of changing and that is the Topor. I mean come on guys, a man does not look manly or charming or attractive with a "shola" headgear with two pompoms hanging down his ears. It looks more like a elaborate funny costume in a masquerade. If the Topor is an essential part of a Bengali wedding, why not use a more manlier version of it. That way the groom doesn't have to look like a clown.
I mean God made a man for a specific purpose and that is "to be a man" and please for heaven sake let them be that. Adorning a funny costume only changes things for the worse. Curse me all you want, but this is true!
Calling all fans of Ayushman Khurana, tell me he doesn't look funny in this pic: