Wednesday, January 03, 2007
You know when you see a wedding in a Bollywood movie, you think - wow that looks awesome. And then you think, ofcourse - it's a movie and that's what weddings look like in movies. Well, the wedding I recently attended in Mumbai would give Bollywood movies a run for their money.
There were about 30 mehndi (henna) putting ladies, clothes made of fresh flowers, gold studded dresses, 1-carat diamond jewellery, 95 performers for the sangeet (the dance night before the wedding), and over 3000 people including a bunch of filmstars and politians.
Hospitality is a big deal in Indian weddings, almost a competitive ground for being talked about.
From the minute I checked into the club I was staying at, to the moment I left, every need of mine was taken care of. I could have ordered male strippers with marshmellows and I would have got them.
A tray of Indian food, fruit and gifts was in my room when I arrived, with a personal welcome letter from the family. It informed me of the programme, a car and driver I had at my service for the three days, and gave me a list of contact numbers should I need anything - from wanting to shop, to visiting the zoo or to sorting out my departure flight details.
The wedding was of the sister of my best friend in India - someone I have known since I was 10. Since we had grown up together, alot of friends were common so the wedding served as a 10 year reunion aswell. I met a whole bunch of classmates and lagori buddies I hadn't seen since I left school - all with their second halves (wive's/husbands) and some with little ones. Was like everyone had moved on with their lives and I was stuck in a time-warp.
The nerds had blossomed, the once-upon-a-time dunce hat guys had become happening DJ's, the hot ones looked hotter and the juniors had become adults who worked in investment banks and participated in Gladrags competitions. But the best thing was, the old bond remained. We were all so delighted to see each other, it was as if we had been in touch all along. Also met a friend I knew from Dubai, who I hadn't met since he left the emirates 3 years ago; he happened to be a close friend of the groom. Never would I have imagined bumping into him at this wedding. A jaw-dropping though great blast from the past.
Met a whole bunch of new people at the wedding aswell. A lot of warm crazy people who knew how to have fun. One of the guys did catch my eye, but I don't think I caught his. Story of my life!
We all departed from the wedding with vows to keep in touch and open invitations to each others houses. Hopefully it will not be after another 10 years.