Fish the Ring
Fish the Ring game determines who will rule the roost in the home front. The bride and groom are asked to take off their rings and put them in a pot of clear water. As the rings settle to the bottom, they are asked to churn the water as vigorously as possible. Once their hands come out, everyone looks at the water. If the bride's ring lags behind in the swirling water she will be an obedient wife. If it is the opposite, the groom will be wrapped around her finger.
Sometimes, the rings are placed in a pot of milk or turmeric water with rose petals and other metallic items and the couple is asked to find the ring. Whoever finds the ring first will always have the upper hand in the marriage.
Jutti Chupai (Hiding the Shoes) When the couple reaches the mandap for the 'pheras', the groom removes his shoes. The bridesmaid hides his shoes. After the ceremony is complete and the groom gets up to leave the mandap, the bridesmaids surround him and demand a preposterous sum of money in exchange for his shoes.
Going Home is played at the groom's house, where the sisters of the groom block the entrance door as the new bride arrives in her husband's home. Pretending to be helpful they point to a covered heap. With a gilded cover placed over a mound supposedly to uncover the family deity - and they ask the bride to bow her head to it before entering. The bride, ever anxious to oblige, dutifully bows her head. However, the cover is pulled off to reveal a pile of old footwear cleverly arranged in a mound. The tradition of worshiping the shoes brings about a situation of laughter, which helps in breaking the ice.
This game is another attempt to predict the future of the couple's married life in a fun playful manner. The bride is given a knotted string to unwind. She and her husband use one hand each to unravel the knots. The sooner they unravel them, the greater the ease with which they will face life's struggles.
To play pillow talk, a pillow is held between the shoulders of the bride and groom who sit with their backs to each other. They are asked questions to which they have to reply in "Yes' or "No" by nodding their heads. Since they cannot see each other they do not know how the other is responding. For the gathering it is great fun to watch the newly-weds reply similarly or differently to each query.
You Touch My Heart
‘You Touch My Heart’ is particularly enjoyable for the women from the bride's side. Several round slots are made with a saree, wide enough for a hand to pass through. The saree is held lengthwise and behind it stand women from the bride's side, including the bride. All the women thrust their hand up to the wrist out of the holes. The groom stands on the other side from where he can only see an array of hands. The challenge for him is to search correctly for his bride's hands for which he is given three chances. Failing this, he has to pay a 'fine' before his bride is reunited with him.
Where is My Heart
In ‘Where is My Heart’, the married couples present stand back-to-back in random order, such that they cannot see each other. Each woman has to find her spouse by calling out to him with an endearment such as "Where is my heart?" without addressing him by name. The husband has to respond accordingly. There is a lot of laughter involved if the wrong man answers to the call.
Henna Name Search
Usually the bride gets mehendi on her palm before the wedding ceremony in which the initial of the groom's name is written in intricate pattern. The groom has to find out that letter from his wife's hand before the starting of conjugal life.
This game is generally played in the south Indian weddings game where the bride and the groom are made to sit at a distance of 10m and are given three coconuts each. The couple have to roll down the coconuts to one other in a way that it collides with each other. This game is the beginning of establishing the understanding between the couple.
A part of Tamil weddings, this game of Kasi Yaatrai is a ritual where the groom performs a skit, pretending that he has had a sudden change of heart and would rather become a sanyasi and therefore cannot be married. The bride’s father has to convince him of the virtues of married life to bring him back to marry his daughter.
In Parsi traditions, the game of Ara Antar, the bride and the groom are given cups of rice and made to sit in front of each other with a cloth held up between them. A priest circles them seven times and when he stops, the bride and the groom are expected to throw the rice over the curtain to the other side. Whoever does it first is said to rule in the marriage.
Wedding rituals in Manipur are incomplete till a pair of taki fish is released in a pond. It is usually done by a female member one from either of the bride’s and groom’s side. They symbolize the bride and the groom and it is considered a good omen if the fish swim alongside one another.
While, the presentation and celebrations kept changing constantly throughout the institution of marriage and society, certain ceremonies and rituals had been constant in marriage mantras. From the ancient era through these holy chants while performing marriage ceremony a husband welcomes the bride affectionately in his family hoping for a happy future, promising her a status of 'ardhangini' which literally means - equal part of her man and vice versa.