August 25, 2015
Once I got into the city, I pretended that I was doing well. Smiled a lot, and hugged a lot. I did tell a few people that I didn’t feel too good, but I was otherwise okay. The entrance to the house was decked with flowers, all the way from the drive way.
The above picture is of my nephew,, his wife Sadiya and their daughter Saniya,the bride to be,.
The tables of food were loaded with the best cuisine. I looked at each and every dish with longing. But knew I couldn’t touch them. I had (most of the time) yogurt, and soft rice and may be a piece of kebab. arrrgh! I am telling you it was a torture to be there and not enjoy all the food. But, such is life I suppose.
The day I reached, there was a henna event for family members. The formal ceremony would come the following day. I do not consider myself young or vibrant to want to get my hands painted with henna. When I was young, I did enjoy it; and therefore refused to have the ladies apply the mixture to my palms. But Sadiya (my nephew’s wife) and all the other relatives forced me down and I got some design done. It was actually fun. I had never had any thing as intricate and pretty ever before. The three ladies came from a town called Bangalore, about 150 miles away, just to do this for the bride’s family. It was like an assembly line. One would draw the outline, and the other ladies did the finishing touches by filling in. Looks like a tattoo, doesn’t it? Except the color is deep red, and is gone in about a week. I can hardly see the design on my palms now.
The following day the entire bridal party moved to a hotel called the ITC Grand Chola. Chola was a dynasty of King Asoka in the fifteenth or sixteenth century I think. The hotel was immense. It is considered to be the best hotel in India, and probably the grandest around the world. I know, the Ritz Carltons of this country couldn’t hold a candle to its magnificence. When I walked out of the hotel to take some pictures, the humidity was so intense that the lens of my camera fogged up. But I think it is a cool photo anyway.
The foyer had the most beautiful marble entrance I have seen.
That night there was a function of the Henna ceremony. My nephew had reserved 150 rooms for all the guests. A huge hall was decked with jasmine garlands. In the center was the station where professional henna ladies would apply the color to the guests. The bride would have her hands and feet done on a stage near by.
Elsewhere in the same hall, there were hundred upon hundreds of bangles and leis of jasmine for the guests to take and wear them. The pavilion had many small stages where the guests would sit down to have their hands painted.
Some of you know how much I crave, the fragrance of jasmines. I was in heaven with these blooms all around me. Every thing was coming up jasmines. The drapes of the center pavilion were thick strands of jasmine. I had to take a picture of myself with the sisters of the bride, just so I can remember the beauty of the evening.
Each table had this enormous centerpiece of pink jasmines. I think I must have thought I was in heaven.
And finally here is my grand niece, getting her hands and arms and feet done up.
It was a memorable evening. I shall stop here tonight, and post more photos, perhaps tomorrow night. Hope you have enjoyed these pictures.
I am posting the same on my xanga blog. Just so you know.