Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wedding Crashers

Last Friday night I attended my second and third Indian wedding. An invitation was extended to the ashram volunteers by doctor Ashish who is a respiratory specialist that visits the ashram a couple of times a week. So with much excitement the two Ruths and I were wrapped in our Saris and with the boys headed to Lavanya wedding lawn for the marriage of Dr Ashish's friend whom we have never met.

We knew that the wedding would not get cranking until about 10pm but decided to head off at 8pm so that we could soak up the atmosphere and the amazing food for as long as possible. This wedding was definitely way fancier than the first wedding we went to. There would have been over 100 metres of buffet/service tables with every kind of vegetarian food imaginable including non Indian foods such as pizza and pasta. Of course I never made it to the pasta as I was filled with finger foods by the over attentive circling waiters. It was quite funny actually, dotted around the wedding lawn which was about the size of a soccer pitch were tables and chairs as well as ornate carved lounge settings. As soon as we took a seat is was like bees to honey...our group being the honey. About 20 waiters converged on us with all sorts of amazing foods and flashy drinks. So it was not long before I was stuffed with all sorts of tasty Indian snacks such as tikka paneer, veg Manchurian, chilli potatoes as well as the most amazing pizza and fruits. Set up around the venue were big screens where live wedding moments from the guests was projected. Our conspicuous little group certainly got a lot of air time.

At about 9.30pm we heard the band leading the grooms carriage approaching so we headed outside to join in the ruckus. As we were in an area where there were multiple wedding venues there was more than one groom approaching his wedding. We tagged along with the procession that we thought was going to the wedding we were invited too. It is with huge fanfare that grooms arrives at his wedding. The groom for the wedding we attended was quite pudgy and sat in his horse drawn carriage flanked by his two daughters (I assume it was a second marriage) before the carriage were the ubiquitous two white horses; then a full brass band all dressed up in marching band regalia. At this stage of the wedding it is mainly men that are present along with a few of the grooms immediate female relatives who are dressed up to the hilt. It is quite a spectacle watching the men dance as if possessed. Only a few of the women from the grooms family dance but as foreigners we were welcomed and strongly encouraged to join in. So the two Ruths and I were having a great time; meanwhile Ray is getting call after call from Dr Ashish who is wondering were we are. We keep repeating above the noise that we are with the groom, but Dr Ashish insists that he is with the groom. Eventually he finds the wrong wedding!! We are literally in stitches as we are lead to the neighboring party lawn to the wedding we were supposed to attend. It just so happened that the groom was just arriving then so we got to enjoy the procession all over again... :) Great night!

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