Hanri + Bamon | Karbi wedding in Diphu, Assam

So, a good friend of mine from my college days who is now a Doctor had commissioned me to photograph his sister’s wedding in a small town called Diphu, a place that is four hours away from Guwahati in the northeastern state of Assam. The last time I met him was maybe five years earlier in Pondicherry. A medical practitioner then, I forced him to assist me for a couple portrait session. And he literally forced himself to do so. He helps his Dad in his business now.

Needless to say, I was pretty kicked about the whole gig. Having shot hundreds of weddings across different communities and having travelled the length and breadth to document interesting weddings, I haven’t yet photographed a Tribal wedding in North East India. And as a documentary wedding photographer, I always thought small-town weddings are the best. It gives me ample opportunities to document some crazy stories. And a lot of real emotions too. Tribal people are pretty genuine at heart if you know what I mean.

My friend, Umtang, belongs to Karbi community, one of the ethnic tribes from Assam. I caught up with my friend a few days before the wedding in Guwahati over some coffee — though he insisted on some drink — hoping to get a rundown on the events during the wedding. “Our weddings are mostly about food and drink, men. We like to party and get drunk. And it may go on all night,” my man replied munching on some freshly made Aloo Tikee, which obviously he wasn’t very impressed with.

A true foodie at heart, which I am, I had to ask my friend before leaving, “So, what’s in the menu, bro?” As of now, we have ordered 800 kilos of Pork, 500 kilos of Chicken, 300 kilos of three different varieties of fishes and 250 kilos of mutton.” And Drinks? “Let’s not get there,” he answered. I insist man! “We have got some 50 boxes of alcohols, which may still be less.”

I have mentioned my friend all throughout but not a word about the couple. Well, that’s because I want you to walk down the lane and feel what it would have meant to be witnessing this beautiful affair amongst some wonderful village folks.

Here’s Hanri and Bamon.

I thank them even more for showing the beautiful town in one of the only hilly districts of Assam where we spent some time taking a few couple portraits. Hanri even insisted to have a few photographs taken in a traditional dress of her community. She even gifted one of these dresses to one of my European friends, Andrea, who was visiting Assam for the first time.

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