Beware un-married couples in India! If you are caught sauntering along hand in hand or ‘Gasp!’ smooching your guy or gal in public… you just might be hauled off to the nearest temple to get wed!
India’s morality police decreed that couples celebrating Valentines Day with PDA (public displays of affection) should have their romance result in marriage (and preferably producing 4 Hindu babies!)
Such shotgun shadis would certainly avoid all the fuss, fan fare and expense that are typical of Indian weddings.
However it is true that winter is the season for weddings in India. And like long-distance runners, we had to pace ourselves.
For you see…. most Indian weddings are not merely show up for the ceremony and reception… no no no my friend! They are multi-day, multi-event, multi-outfit extravaganzas!
In many cases, the celebrations are not just confined to one location either – nope! They can start with a 4-day ‘destination’ wedding followed by lavish receptions in the city where the happy couple live (or one set of parents do!).
Delightful Delhi Destination Wedding Weekend
It kicked off with a wonderful weekend wedding in Delhi – such a brilliant Bollywood affair deserves its own post!
This was followed by a double-hitter – two different receptions in one evening! First up was an ex-colleague’s son’s wedding…. Note my outfit 2nd to right… you will see it again.. and again.. and again! Shameless of me, eh?
Thankfully I was behind the camera for the above pic!
Next up was a Parsi celebration with the grandkids of my partners old family friends getting hitched. Like many weddings, folks from around the globe joined the celebrations with drinking, dancing and feasting.
One thing everyone looks forward to with a Parsi wedding is the food! There were at least 4 sittings at this one where each guest is served a feast of bhonu on a banana leaf.
And while outdoor venues are required to shut off the music at 10pm, that just triggers pulling out guitars so the merriment continues in a quieter way!
International affair to remember
One of my favourites was a reception for a friend’s wedding.
For once, it was a couple from ‘our’ not the next (or next to next) generation! In this case, the couple live between Tokyo and New York with frequent stops in Mumbai. Unfortunately we could not join the original ceremony in Japan so appreciate all the more when a little of Japan and the US came to us.
- American folks singer
- Japanese fan dance
- More Parsi bhonu
Big fat Indian wedding!
Then we entered into the territory of the BIG FAT INDIAN wedding! Functions spread over multiple days… engagement, mehndi raat then the shadi!
Day 1 – Engagement…
Day 2 – Mehndi raat…
Day 3 – The wedding…
The most amusing thing was the careful segregation between the Jain wedding reception which was pure veg no alcohol… and the nefarious activities taking place behind closed doors where only non-veg and intoxicants were permitted for the Punjabi side and others!
Naturally this section was labelled the ‘Smith Xmas’ party as it was Christmas eve and conveniently the Smith clan could be forgiven for their Christian revelry… In India there are always ways around rules!
What is also funny is speculation ran rampant about our marital status in response to this pic! Shhhh – Better not alert the morality police!!
This marathon carried on with many more marriages – each with distinctive characters reflecting the varied cultures of the happy couples and their families.
As for me? I’m sufficiently confident that we have finally surfaced from the season that I sent my outfits for dry-cleaning!