Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
74Trip End Sep 30, 2009
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Tanya spent to following day looking for something to wear to the wedding and when Saturday morning rolled around...we left the apartment (with the Murthy) at the un-gawdly hour of 10AM (on a Saturday) to drive on hour to Shamshabad for this wedding. I wore a suit...and was praying for an inside wedding...no such luck. I left my jacket in the car and we heading to a very, very large tent with may 500-600 seats...most of them empty. Evidently if you show up on time to an Indian wedding, you'll be the only person there. The guests that were there were clearly separated on each side of the aisle. But not by the brides-side and the grooms-side...but by male and female. The left side was completely female...and the right side was all make. Tanya sat with me on the right side as we were directed to by the family...second row in fact. I think I was the token white-guy...a novelty...that's all right I guess.
As the remaining guests trickled in (eventually it was a full house), the wedding kicked off. There was a holy man on stage chanting and throwing rice around the place. There was also a roving band which was mainly a bunch of drummers in addition to a band on stage that was mainly horns. It's important to note that during the entire ceremony there was a lot of people going up and down on stage and moving in and out of the stage center
After spending about 20 minutes with the groom, the family members went back to the bride and started doing things and placing things on her. Eventually both sets of parents came to the front of the stage and they were tied together and given some rice and the holy man said some words. At this point I noticed that Pushpama (the wife who invited me) was not on stage with her husband during this event. I asked Murthy what was going on and he told me that the Pushpama's husband was up there with his elder wife and it was her daughter that was getting married. As the younger wife, Pushpama wasn't involved in this part of the wedding. After Tanya and I did about 10 double-takes and confirmed what we just heard...we sat back and enjoyed the rest of the ceremony. Eventually the groom and bride were brought up next to each other...the bands went into a frenzy, the holy man went into a frenzy, the stage was full of people going back and forth and then they were married
We decided to skip the lunch and head out so while we waited for my driver to get our car out of the parking lot (we were blocked in) we walked around and watched some of the entertainment which included comics, dancers and our favoirtes...dwarfs. These two little guys were dressed to the nines in their Indian finest and were at the entrance to the wedding tent. There were quite popular and the little guy in the red definitely took a liking to Tanya.
So...to recap...what I learned about an Hyderabadi Hindu wedding:
1) No need to arrive early.
2) Dress coolly and bring mosquito repellent as it may be outside
3) Don't worry if things seem to be in a state of chaos...that's normal...just go with the flow and enjoy the show.
4) Make sure you thank "both" wives. I think this wedding was just a weird one as most Hindu men have one wife.
5) If you don't like loud noises, bring ear plugs. The drummers were quite enthusiastic.
6) Throw the rice with your right hand....doh!
7) Make friends with the dwarf's!
Enjoy the pics!