My trip to India.

August 25, 2015

  • The celebration/trip continues.

    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.IMG_5127


    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.



    Ladies waiting to show off their talent.IMG_5138


    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.

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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30 Responses to My trip to India.

  1. mrswrangler says:

    Sounds like a good trip minus you not feeling good.

  2. sunsetdragon says:

    Your grand niece is beautiful. I love the henna design and so very pretty. That hotel is impressive and the heavenly scent of jasmines. This si enough to mae anyone feel better.

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you Ruth. The henna from my hands is completely gone. The scent of jasmine is most powerful and I love it. I took leis of them to my room and had them around my pillow so I would smell them all night long.

  3. jstnotherday says:

    What a beautiful place, India.
    Wish that all the people enjoyed of the riches.

    Wow, the drapes of Jasmine, are literally drapes. 🙂
    I was hoping for a picture when you first mentioned. I also love the fragrance of jasmine. It would have felt like heaven. How lucky you are.

    It would take great patience to have all that artwork with the henna done.
    Your grand niece is looking beautiful. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing all this. 🙂

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you kindly for your comment and thoughts. Every day was a day of wonder and joy for me. It had been a long time since I had seen a wedding in India, and truly, I loved the events. it was just too bad that I was unable to enjoy the functions as much as I wanted to.

  4. slmret says:

    What a beautiful girl the bride is. I’m impressed by the henna ceremony, by the jasmine, and by the opulence of the hotel. I’m so sorry you weren’t feeling well — but happy that you were able to be part of the wedding ceremonies anyway! Hugs!!!

    • Zakiah says:

      Really Janet, the hotel was amazing. The Chola Dynasty ruled South India from about the 9th to the 13th or 14th century. They brought on the Iron Age of India. The hotel represents the grandeur of that time and is considered the best in the country and around the world.
      Tough luck isn’t it, that my body betrayed me so badly in India. I was angry that I couldn’t shake it off.

  5. Your grand nieces are so beautiful! Especially the bride! 🙂 Love your beautiful henna hands! 🙂
    Oh! I can smell the jasmine! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing all of this with us! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    • Zakiah says:

      hi Carolyn. Hope you are doing well. Thank you for your words. I am thinking of you and praying that the surgery and post surgical period will go very easy on you. Love and hugs

  6. beowulf222 says:

    I heard Indian weddings are an elaborate affair. Hope to hear more.

    • Zakiah says:

      Elaborate is a simple term. Nick, I think my nephew spent about 2 to 3 million dollars on this wedding. I am just glad that he owns the mines and the mica chips that is harvested from his mines is present in every computer, i-phone and what not around the world.

  7. marica0701 says:

    Wow, your henna is so beautiful! There is a local shop nearby that offers henna. I would love it on my hands, but I could not have it due to my work environment. 😦

    Such a beautiful and extravagant place for a wedding! 🙂

  8. You were in the most grandiose place , living the tradiriuonal event wit grace, Zakiah even ..
    The women have such grace and distinction. I imagine you like that
    Love ❤

    • Zakiah says:

      awww, thank you dear Michel. I agree with you about the grace of a well dressed indian lady. The sari is such a beautiful dress in my opinion. All the events I attended, were superb and spectacular.

  9. I can’t get over the jasmine – it must have smelled so wonderful.

    • Zakiah says:

      The first day, I was coming down the escalator, and I smelled them. I got goose bumps all over my skin. The fragrance was overwhelming. I didn’t know that on the opposite part of that hall on the second floor, about thirty people were working with a million strands of jasmine leis, woven together, and draping them around the posts and doors. I just went there and sat down. My heart sobbed with the beauty of it Matt.

  10. Sorry you weren’t feeling well. It looks so beautiful there. I like the henna tattoos.

  11. theinfiniterally says:

    Spectacular! What a feast for the senses. I’m so glad you shared your photos with us. I look forward to more, when you are feeling up to it.

    • Zakiah says:

      I have been posting some on facebook, just so relatives in India can see them. If I finish the fiction Friday thingy soon, I will post some more pictures here tonight. I am glad you liked the ones I have posted. Hope your arm is doing good.

      • theinfiniterally says:

        My arm is better, thank you. More pictures tonight! I may have to postpone my bedtime a few more minutes then.

  12. I’ve had henna done here and it has never been as fancy and beautiful as the ones in your photos!!!!!! These photos and your description of the wedding events are just what I needed! Thank you! I’ve been just wanderlusting away but been bound here by work! I live vicariously through you-minus the illness. Glad you made it home safely!

    • Zakiah says:

      Oh I know Ann, the way the ladies went about it was amazing. It was like an assembly line. One woman would outline, then the next woman would take her place, and fill some details, and third person would do the finishing touches. I had never seen anything like this myself.

  13. I am so glad you are sharing all this with us. It’s awesome. I LOVE henna drawings though I’ve never had one, I think they are lovely.

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