Trip Start Dec 08, 2008
27Trip End Dec 24, 2008
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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
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
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
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..
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 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.