So....on Monday, Tania & I went to the wedding reception of the brother of one of my old house mates (Kyril from the Red Hill house). I still have no idea where the reception was held...it just took a long time to get there in a taxi, in the middle of peak hour Delhi traffic. I think we may have actually left New Delhi & moved into the next provence. There was definitely a "we're not in Kansas anymore Toto" moment. I think we hit that point when the roads changed from “sealed” to potholes that even trucks were too scared to negotiate. The roads had to be seen to be believed.
Anyway...eventually...we managed to find our way to the reception. It was at a Hindu temple: they had set up the inner courtyard with a stage for the bride & groom to sit (elevated amongst the masses); a huge food banquet & tents around the sides.
The invitation said 7pm, so we naturally turned up on time. Big mistake: it soon became apparent that any times mentioned in an invitation to an Indian wedding are “just a guide”. To make matters worse...we were the first ones there & we were the only foreigners (ie: white folks) at this point.
That caused great amusement amongst the locals who kept staring at us: some of the local boys even took to (not so) surrepticiously taking photos of Tania (which was really starting to piss me off). So....it was quite awkward for about 40 minutes. An older couple did turn up & tried to talk to us: we did get across the point that we’re from Australia but that was about it. It turns out that this couple were Kyril’s great-aunt & great-uncle.
Eventually...the bride & groom turned up (along with the familiar faces of Kyril & her husband Alan). They all looked stunning. It was also at this point, it started to rain so the bride & groom made their way into the temple to wait it out.
By this time, more & more people had started to turn up & the rain had stopped so the happy couple made their way to centre stage. They sat there while people came up to them to congratulate them & offer gifts.
It started to rain again & so the couple moved under one of the tents. The tents offered no real protection against the rain & it started to get quite heavy. We then had to move back into the temple.
While in the temple, a transformer outside blew (with a loud pop & shower of sparks), plunging the temple into darkness. All the while, people are massing, the hired help is moving the food onto tables out the front, moving chairs into the foyer for the guests & moving the bride & groom’s chair into the mass of people.
We had people coming up to us asking “Have you seen ‘Monsoon Wedding’ ??”. It seemed very appropriate.
We could only stay for a short time & so had to leave early: at least we got to spend some time with bridal party. Kyril’s Auntie & uncle only had time to see the set up of the venue before they had to catch a flight home to Tassie.
The taxi ride home was a cracker. We hopped in & quickly discovered that the taxi’s windscreen wipers weren’t working. Thankfully......the heavy rain held off but our driver had to hop out at every set of lights to wipe down the windscreen. He had two extra sets of eyes watching the road that night.