The title of the post is long and I promise you that the text will be even longer. This is because I am really excited about this post! Our friend Vidisha told us last year that her brother would be getting married and lucky us, the wedding was to happen during our stay in India, so you can imagine how much the excitement has been building up!
If you don’t have a clue, Indian weddings take a couple of days, but for us, our main concern was the two important days, because we have class and all (yes we are master’s students). Our journey to their town called Patna began on Monday as three of us boarded a flight from Hyderabad to Kolkata at 11:45pm and arrived at 2:00 am, yes at that moment we were in a taxi looking for a random hotel that our friend was already in. Getting to the hotel was the easy part, but on arrival there were no extra rooms so we had to share a hotel room as four girls!
Next day in the evening we took a night train to Patna, now these trains have air conditioning and a bed that is probably a 2*5, but you have to manage either way, that was a nine and a half hour ride to Patna.
Lucky for us when we got there we were picked up from the station and driven to a guest house to catch up on about two hours of sleep before heading out to the groom’s place for breakfast and application of henna, this was before going for dance practice for our performance. Yes we had a performance and a choreographer too! I think the best part about this is as opposed to other weddings where they hire professional dancers to perform, here they incorporate everyone who wants to perform. It is not about professionalism, it is about having a good time.
The first night was organized by the groom’s family, we got dropped at a hotel where the wedding occupied a ball room. When the beautiful bride arrived, the performances started and our class was part of the cheer leading squad. When it came to our turn, most of us had forgotten the choreography and we basically free styled while laughing the whole time, apparently the crowd thought that we did an amazing job, but we know we messed up, they were probably being polite to these strange foreigners who can’t coordinate haha.
After the performances were over the old couples got on stage and showed us their dance moves ushering in the rest of us to the dance floor where the energy was contagious. I had to train my African bones to move the Indian way while wearing heels and boy did I have fun. The young guys were quick to befriend us and teach us some Indian dance skills, Bollywood vibes right there I tell you!!! We danced till 11 pm, ate amazing food then called it a day.
The marriage day was absolutely incredible. We had to dance in the streets for about an hour and a half to the reception area to meet the bride’s family because we were from the groom’s side. The street dance was like nothing I had ever seen before, people went in, they danced like there was no tomorrow, the drummers and trumpet blowers looked like they did not get tired while the rest of us had to be given bottles of water to survive hehe. All this time the groom was aboard a horse driven chariot, very fancy stuff I tell ya..
The reception are was beautifully decorated, I kid you not, they went over the top. The bride arrived in a carriage held by her brother and his friends to meet the groom at the royal chair on the stage. We took alot of pictures with them and of them, it was such a sight to behold. After that we went to eat as the couple prepared for the religious ceremony that takes place till 6am, while the rest of us went to sleep at 4:30 am.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end, so we had to take a train back to campus, it was a 17 hour train, yes, 17 hours with a 2*5 bed, longest journey of my life, but if I was to do it again I would, I loved every bit of the wedding!
Just a side note, the wedding was arranged. And contrary to people’s perceptions, arranged marriages are equally as beautiful, these people have mastered the art of compassion and compromise. They get into a marriage with a mentality of, “how can I make him/her happy?”. and in this day and age, most cultures are pushing for self centredness. We talked to a couple that has been married for two years (cutest couple ever btw) and the guy said one thing, “My dream is to make her happy.” Theirs was an arranged marriage, but you can see that they are best of friends now. Whether an arranged or a love marriage, the principles still remain, love, compassion, friendship and compromise.
The hospitality we got from the Sinha’s was amazing, it truly felt like home, the parents were so warm, we got treated like VIP’s, and everyone was so friendly and caring, making sure we got everything we needed. India now feels like a second home.
Ps, I kinda took most of the photos, I think I am onto something here Ben Kiruthi hehe…