Wedding Day

Trip Start Dec 08, 2008
1
17
27
Trip End Dec 24, 2008


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of India  , Haryana,
Monday, December 15, 2008

Today was an early morning. Our driver showed up promptly on time and we were late again. Of course today is the day that we needed to put on our formal bests. So Rebecca was doing up her hair and putting on her saree (or sari, depending on how you spell it). My outfit was much easier... almost too easy actually. The traditional formal attire for males in india actually consists of baggy pants called pyjamas (where english gets the term pajama from) and a long large overshirt called a kurta. There is an optional vest that can be worn, but my outfit today doesn't have a vest.

We're running terribly late. The wedding is scheduled for 9:30, which we are told means that the actual ceremony will happen promptly at 9:30, and all the procession stuff will be before that. We've seen in the movies the whole deal about the groom approaching the bride's house on horseback. But yesterday Rebecca heard this rumor that Jon was actually going to come in on an elephant! We defenitely didn't want to miss that, so we kept trying to get going. By the time we actually make it out the door, we are only 30 minutes late, and I keep thinking to myself "ah man, I'm gonna miss the elephant!" But when we get to the hotel where the ceremony is taking place, all the doormen and everything seem kinda confused. We finally find the place where we are supposed to be, and it is still a flurry of setup activity. People sprinkling flower petals, and hanging backdrops and a couple of guys were even off in one corner spray-painting little earthenware pots that they were using and centerpieces. It quickly became obvious that we were the first guests to arrive that weren't in either party, so they just had us sit down and drink some chai.

A short while later, the second couple not directly involved with either party showed up, they sat down with us and we learned that their names were Nathan and Tui. Nathan is from the US... Boston specifically, and Tui is from... Uhm I'm not sure we learned exactly where she was from, but she's from India somewhere. They are married and they went to a San Fran art school together, and when they finished school, they applied for jobs at a school in Ooty, India. That's down south up in the mountains. We're told it is a big british area. The british apparently built a ton of schools there because it's beautiful and cool in the summer times. So when it got to opressively hot down in the costal areas, they would retreat up to the mountains where the sky is blue, the air is clean, and the hills are all green. Rebecca and I were falling in love with the place more and more with every further description. When we told them they were doing something we were kinda dreaming of, they got all excited and started telling us all about the process. We're defenitely going to go research Ooty when we get back.

Eventually the bride showed up to see the place all spiffed up. She looked radiant. Aboslutely lovely. And then we saw Shivangi... wearing a saree and everything! She looked fantastic too. It was easily the best I've ever see Shivangi look. I hope she does it more often.

A bunch of time passes, more people show up. The time is now more than an hour after the stated time and there is still no groom or grooms party. Then we finally get word that he's coming. So we all go outside and stand on the street. Off in the distance, in the midst of crazy Delhi traffic, we see a painted elephant slowly making it's way towards us. He stops about a block away to wait for the groom. We go to see him, and a banana vendor comes up and Shivangi's dad starts buying bunches of bananas and the elephant just grabs a whole load with it's trunk and eats the whole thing, skins and all. In the time we're waiting for Jon to arrive, the elephant probably eats about 50 or 60 bananas. I even got a video of Rebecca feeding her a bunch, which was really cute.

The groom and party finally arrive, the elephant squats down so they can climb up (well Jon and some of his nieces and nephews) and we all start the procession to the door of the hotel. When we get there, the elephant gets back down and everbody hops off. Many pictures and videos are taken... then Jon gets to approach and be greeted by the elder women of the brides family. Thalis of greeting, red marks on the forehead something to do with his feet which I couldn't see through the crowd. Then a bunch more... then we all get to walk through the archway to the place where the ceremony is going to take place... we're greeted with necklaces of orange flowers (crysanthemums?) and Shivangi is sprinkling rosewater on our heads as we walk through... then it's hardly any time at all before the wedding ceremony actually starts taking place. And it goes on for quite a while. Lots of little elements that I don't really know anything about. When it comes time for the ring, Jon actually has a heck of a time getting it on her finger... but he is successful and the ceremonies continue.

More photos, more videos... I try to get some good ones they might value, but the competition is fierce. :-) So I let the pros do their job.

Many people approach Rebecca and comment on her saree... a couple of times she is asked who helped her put it on, to which she would reply "I actually learned from the internet and practiced a bunch". That impressed a lot of people. She was adored by some of the older Indian aunties at the party, which was also super cute. I got a goodly number of compliments as well. We're told that Indians just love to see westerners in traditional dress. No problems there, it so easy and comfortable I could see more people embracing it... but then of course the novelty would wear off.

At one point we are approached by a man and woman and started getting all the questions about how we came to be there... and ours is probably the strangest and most unlikely in all the world. For those that don't know... it all starts at a little restaurant in Beijing. On the China trip, Rebecca knew I don't agree with Chinese food all that well, so she found this wonderful little Indian restaurant in Bejing that is still probably the best Indian food I've ever eaten (and now I can say I've been eating in India for a week)... they had TV's up in the corners playing Bollywood clips and we're like "What is that all about? Are those actual movies?" when we got back to the US, we decided to investigate... we started with top 10 lists, and then expanded out from there. Our first Bollywood movie (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) was almost a completely flop, as the first half is pretty bad.... but after the second half, we were in love, so we started watching more. We starting inviting friends over to share the experience with, because it is so unlike any hollywood movie watching experience. Then we started a Facebook group "Eugene Bollywood Lovers" and then we invited Devika... who in turn invited Shivangi. Then Rebecca and I started planning a trip to India to see how we liked it... when Shivangi found out, she said "You should come for my sister's wedding!!" we didn't want to impose, but her sister Sandhya said it was no problem at all... the more the merrier. So we accepted the invitation and here we stand. At the most vibrant, fantabulous wedding I've ever seen... of a person I met only five days ago.

Ok, so that's the whole story... this man and woman found it hilarious... but they keyed in on the movie part of it, as the gentleman is actualy in the film industry. Not the filming side, but the business side. His name is Nyay, and from what I gather, he consults with the hollywood reporter and some other publications in the hollywood industry to help them understand the ins and outs of the Bollywood industry (which is actually larger in dollar volume, and number of people going to see their movies) So our conversation just exploded about movies, and his sister politely excused herself to have some less geeky socializing while at the wedding. We went through the whole buffet talking about movies, sat down and ate our whole meal still on the topic and continued for some time after that. It was a totally riot. He kept on cracking up when we'd mention movies we'd seen. Usually because they were so completely obscure (like Bichoo, Love Ke Liya Kuch Bi Barega or Kakhee) but we had some meaningful bits of conversation too... like how we thought americans would respond to Bollywood flicks if marketed right and stuff. I totally think that there is a HUGE market for what Bollywood produces if they can figure out how to get Americans to get past that first little "What???" part that we all go through when seeing Bollywood for the first time. But that's a discussion for a different blog... which we are kind of inspired to start after meeting Nyay.

We pretty much eat up the whole time at the wedding with Nyay and have a great time. Most of the other guests have already left, so we bit out goodbyes and head back to Sonika and Karan's house. We are in high spirits the whole time... then we get home and have a glass of water and some biscuits and in the space of about 10 minutes I got from totally fine to "Something is wrong with my stomach" and within the hour I'm all bundled up on the bed, suffering chills and shaking and alltogether not well.

We had a lot of things we wanted to do with the rest of the day, but all that got taken out by a sudden onset of something nasty in the stomach. So I ended up sleeping the rest of the day and in the late evening I actually had a final bit of sick that ejected whatever toxin my body was rejecting, and I started feeling better right away.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

jimfling
jimfling on

Fantastic
I have never seen a more lovely bride. Rebecca and Kirby look very good also.
I really like your shoes Kirby.
Travel safe. Dad

hotjourprof_not
hotjourprof_not on

Ooty
The pics are awesome and you guys look great!

The South (and Ooty) are like an entire different country. I am glad you got to experience the North this time around and who knows maybe my sister will get married next year and you'll get to do the entire thing again in the South.

H.

jimfling
jimfling on

Down from an elephant
By the by, you don't get down from an elephant, you get down from a duck Baba Boom

kirby
kirby on

Re: Down from an elephant
I actually titled that picture 'How do you get down from an elephant' just for you dad! I've always said bad humor is genetic.

And by the way, down comes from geese, not ducks. Time you start watching jeapardy again. :-)

prashant on

GITM - Best Engineering colleges in India & Top B-Schools in Gurgaon.

GITM is one of the best engineering colleges & top B-schools in Gurgaon, Delhi/NCR & all around India. This AICTE approved college is amongst top B-schools & offers best engineering courses based in Gurgaon.

Keywords:->
GITM, GITM Gurgaon, Best Engineering colleges in India, Top B-Schools in Gurgaon

ContactUs:->
5 Km Stone, Kheda Khurampur,
Farrukhnagar-Haily Mandi Road,
Gurgaon, Haryana - 122506
Contact No:0124-2016600/700/800

Url:->
www.gitmgurgaon.com

gitm college on

GITM - Best Engineering colleges in India & Top B-Schools in Gurgaon.

GITM is one of the best engineering colleges & top B-schools in Gurgaon, Delhi/NCR & all around India. This AICTE approved college is amongst top B-schools & offers best engineering courses based in Gurgaon.

Keywords:->
GITM, GITM Gurgaon, Best Engineering colleges in India, Top B-Schools in Gurgaon

ContactUs:->
5 Km Stone, Kheda Khurampur,
Farrukhnagar-Haily Mandi Road,
Gurgaon, Haryana - 122506
Contact No:0124-2016600/700/800

Url:->
www.gitmgurgaon.com

Add Comment

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: