Dabbawalas send Maharashtrian gifts to Harry and Meghan
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.