Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sweetie's sister gets married.

Sweetie has been gone, distracted and all of a quiver about her sister and brother-in-law's marital union. Finally the big day has arrived.

We all get appropriately attired. Kids with collars and no tantrums - major achievement. Simon in pants, shirt and jacket. Me in blingy silky kurta and pants. Aimed to have pics of us all dolled up but it wasn't to be! This evening is actually the reception. The ceremony will be the next morning. This seemingly backward arrangement is because the date of the weeding is driven by finding an 'auspicious' date, no consideration given to the day of the week. As folks can't take the day off work to attend the reception, it is pushed to the evening before. The only ceremonial part is the exchange of garlands

We left with Shankar (also invited) at the wheel and arrived at the prescribed time. Not the time on the invite but the later time Sweetie had decreed. However, when we pull up there are no guests and the archway of balloons with bride's and groom's name on is still only partially erected. Shankar calls Sweetie - there has been a delay, no-one has left home yet. We are to wait somewhere. Simon asks Shankar for a "Cafe coffee day" (Bangalore's answer to Starbucks), Shankar replies 'May be difficult, sir" Looking around he could be right - this is not central Bangalore, not exactly deepest darkest but not a typical european type coffee area. However Shankar comes up trumps.

So here we are dressed fancy, in a Cafe Coffee Day, somewhere in Bangalore waiting for our maid's sister's wedding which is running late at 8.00pm on a Thursday night.......only in India. Got to love it - we laugh at the sheer absurdity of the situation. Then, coffee, hot chocolate, samosas and cookies - yeah time is ticking by and we are getting hungry waiting for the phone call!

At last Shankar calls. All is set. In fact it is more than set. The party hall is full of mainly ladies in wonderful jewels and saris. It transpires we are a sort of star attraction, second only to bride and groom. I don't think white folks at local weddings is the norm! Anyway we are both spectacles and spectators and enjoying every minute!!

Bride and groom looking both gorgeous and handsome respectively, take to their thrones looking very serious and not exactly overjoyed at their lives slowly entwining. It was the same at the other local (as opposed to non-resident) Indian wedding we went to. There seems to be a standard wedding photo-face that portrays all of the gravitas of the situation but none of the joy!
I did get one picture of the beautiful bride sneaking a smile when no-one was looking!

Essentially, once photos are taken of the (I'm sure under their serious wedding faces) happy couple it is time to file past, wish, greet and be photographed. We are allowed to queue jump here as Sweetie recognizes it is getting late, our kids have school and Adam two exams in the morning.

Then out of the main room and downstairs to eat. The familiar long table with a banana leaf and a glass of water. The gentleman next to Wills kindly offers to find him a fork or spoon but Wills quickly and firmly rejects that idea. He can eat with his fingers with the best of them. As this is a multi-shift meal, it's eat and go. We no longer question eating anything in this sort of scenario and after a quick signal to Shankar who's sat at the other end of the table we gulp down the water as well. All yummy and all stay healthy!!

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