Tuesday, October 28, 2008
" ......of course I'm married!"
For those of you following the blog, I left you with a cliff hanger at the conclusion of the entry before last. So it is only fair that I share with you, my latest cultural faux pas!
I have lost count, or I would have numbered this one........but be that as it may.....there will be too many to keep track of over the next couple of years.
As I mentioned, the Puja took place just before my appointment with Rahul, the real estate broker I am working with in selecting a place to live. I promised you a picture of Rahul; in the picture above, Rahul is the gentleman sitting on the far right.
Our appointment was for 11:00am, and he was on time, which is uncommon by Indian standards......so he had to participate in the Puja. As you can see from the picture, at the conclusion of the Puja, I was given a flower necklace, (I am not sure if the refer to them as lei's). It was very nice, but hardly something I wanted to wear while I was out looking at apartments. Not knowing what to do with it, I took it from around my neck and placed the "garland" over the head of the lady wearing the sari...(she is the lady sitting on the floor on the left side of the picture next to the priest)
I may be becoming an expert at Puja's, however,one thing I am having difficulty with is names.......pronouncing them, and remembering them...unless I write them down. This lady had been working with us for about a week, and I had been traveling, so I really didn't have the chance to study her name.
Rahul, was in the room where the garland exchange took place. I simply didn't want it to go unused, and thought that it would be a nice gesture to share it with someone who would appreciate it and would get use of it for the remainder of the day.
Nothing was said, Rahul and I left and we began driving to see the first apartment on our list. Rahul and I were speaking about several things; the puja, his views on Hinduism, the commercialization of religion and comparing Hinduism to others.....great conversation; I could only listen, as I admitted that I had not studied other religions and was not familiar with all of them.......he is a very interesting guy to have conversations with.....and he has a wonderful sense of humor.
Out of the blue, Rahul asks me if I am married......which took me by surprise, as he and I have had several discussions about Linda, and have referred to her as my wife several times......so I had no idea why he would ask me such a thing.
Rahul, then kindly explained that my act of placing the flowers around the girls neck not the correct thing to do......this is an act that is performed only during the marriage ceremony and that it is saved only for a groom and bride.
My mouth dropped open.......I stated that I had no idea that this was the case........there was uncomfortable silence....
Sensing no harm was done, and understanding Rahul's sense of humor, I asked how difficult it was to get a divorce in India......to which he replied.....very difficult, you should have had a Pre Nup!
So there you have it...........I inadvertently married a girl(sort of) and I don't even know her name.
No worries Linda.......you are the only one for me......I assure you!