Dab­bawalas send Ma­ha­rash­trian gifts to Harry and Meghan

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI - ZA­REEN SHARIF

Mum­bai’s famed Dab­bawalas are send­ing tra­di­tional Ma­ha­rash­trian clothes to Prince Harry and Me­gan Merkle as a gift for their wed­ding which takes place on Satur­day. As per Marathi cul­ture, they are send­ing a sal­war kurta with pa­gri for the prince and a tra­di­tional sa­ree for Me­gan as a sym­bol of their love and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the cou­ple. De­spite not be­ing in­vited as they had been for Prince Charles’ wed­ding, the dab­bawalas have de­cided to send a gift that rep­re­sents their spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with the Roy­als.

On Thurs­day, the Dab­bawalas had bought the gifts which will be sent off to the Bri­tish Coun­cil and from there the gifts will reach the Royal Palace.

Tak­ing a break from their rou­tine of go­ing around of­fices on cy­cles laden with lunch boxes, the dab­bawalas went to a shop in Lal­baug area of cen­tral Mum­bai and bought the tra­di­tional Ma­ha­rash­trian Paithani sa­ree for Meghan and the fa­mous Kol­ha­puri ‘pheta’. They chose a saf­fron­coloured one for the young prince, at whose fa­ther’s wed­ding, they were among the in­vi­tees.

“We at­tended Prince Charles’ wed­ding (in 2005) as he in­vited us him­self af­ter he vis­ited us back in 2003 and he is like fam­ily to us. Now that his son is get­ting mar­ried it is like a mar­riage in our own house. We are happy and want to send our bless­ings to Prince Harry and Me­gan Merkle,” said Sub­hash Talekar, the spokesper­son of Mum­bai Dab­bawala As­so­ci­a­tion.

“We are gift­ing a kurta-py­jama and head­gear to Harry and the tra­di­tional nine­yard Paithani sa­ree, man­gal­su­tra and green glass ban­gles, con­sid­ered aus­pi­cious for new brides, to Meghan,” Talekar said.

To mark the wed­ding, dab­bawalas will dis­trib­ute sweets to the rel­a­tives of pa­tients at some gov­ern­men­trun hos­pi­tals in Mum­bai.

The dab­bawalas share a spe­cial bond with Prince Charles and now when his youngest son is about to get mar­ried it is seen as the wed­ding of a friend’s child. The dab­bawalas had sim­i­larly hon­oured Prince Wil­liams and Kate Mid­dle­ton back in 2016 when they vis­ited In­dia.

“We are gift­ing a kur­tapy­jama and head­gear to Harry and the tra­di­tional nine-yard Paithani sa­ree, man­gal­su­tra and green glass ban­gles, con­sid­ered aus­pi­cious for new brides, to Meghan,” Sub­hash Talekar, the spokesper­son of Mum­bai Dab­bawala As­so­ci­a­tion.

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