Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Invitation Accepted - Ramesh's Cousin's Wedding

The Groom's ProcessionThe Bride and GroomAt the Table with my Drinking BuddiesRamesh and his Extended FamilyRamesh,his Mother, Aunt and Little Cousin

Linda and the boys left for the US on June 29th......and the next day I had the honor to attend Ramesh's cousin's wedding.

Admittedly, Ramesh stated that he is not close to his cousin, although the two of them live in Delhi.....yet, it was a huge affair in the family.

Huge enough for Ramesh's mother and his Aunt and two of his Uncles to travel 12 hours by bus to reach Delhi and spend 5 days attending all of the festivities.

It was an honor to meet Ramesh's mother.....and although she does not speak any English, I hope that my voice and my body language conveyed to her how much Ramesh means to our family.

Each wedding we attend is a little bit different.....this one was an outside wedding, the evening was very warm, the fireworks very loud..the drums were beating....the band was playing......and this time I actually had the opportunity to walk in the wedding procession while I watched the groom riding comfortably in his carriage towards the place where the wedding would take place.

I guess when loneliness sets in (Linda and the boys had been gone nearly 24 hours) it is best to surround yourself with people. So I accepted the invitation and I am so very glad that I did.

The wedding was lively.....I was encouraged to dance, but I have not yet taken "Bollywood" dancing lessons and I pleaded with Ramesh to protect me from those who were trying to pull me to the floor......Ramesh performed in a stellar fashion....(Driver/Bodyguard)......and it goes without saying that despite my easy adjustment to India, at a
height of 6'3", it is hard to "blend in".

The hospitality is always wonderful, the people were extremely friendly and accommodating......and i must have been asked over 100 times to have something to eat or drink, or to even sit down.

Finally, two of Ramesh's Uncle's demanded that I sit down at their table to have a "drink".....I hadn't realized that the canvas bad that resembled a small piece of luggage was where they had been inconspicuously hiding the "hooch".

So this is how it came that I had my first "drink" at an Indian Wedding.......I am not sure what it was.....but it was mixed with a cola style beverage......and of course it was strong......so I took my time sipping, and when finished, being the "good sport" that I am, I agreed to have another.

I guess that helped me to be a bit more relaxed, so when I was invited to take pictures on the stage with the Bride and Groom and wish them well, I didn't hesitate......and all was fine until I stepped off the back edge of the stage.......this had nothing to do with the adult beverage I was served from a canvas bag I assure you. It had to be either the blinding lights from the flash of the camera, or faulty construction of the stage.

I made it off the stage "gracefully", waving to everyone with the assurance that "I really did belong here" and wondering what they might be muttering to each other in Hindi about me.

After two bowls of Ice Cream.....and some photographs of Ramesh and his extended family, the 11:00pm hour had struck and it was time for me to say my goodbye's.

Ramesh has a wonderful family, and I know that he was happy to see them....as happy and honored as I was to have had the opportunity to meet them.

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