When we arrived at our hotel yesterday, it was clear that something big was in the works. Hashmat and Priya answered our unasked questions when they told us there was going to be a wedding.
The entire, large front garden of the hotel had been taken over by the wedding festivities. Pavilions were being erecting, chairs and tables set out, miles of fabrics were being draped on anything capable of being draped, garlands of flowers were being hung from anything capable of supporting a garland. In the harsh light of a late afternoon sun, it looks garish and tacky.
After the sun went down, a miraculous transformation occurred. What had been garish and tacky was now, under the glare of billions of fairy lights and strobe lights and every other kind of artificial illumination, tacky and magically wonderful.
Huge lines of tables were devoted to the preparation and serving of “heavy” snacks that would need to tide the guests over until dinner was served much later. To say there were lots of guests would be a great understatement; they poured in in all manner of dress from sort of casual to obviously very fancy. There was a drone buzzing overhead to capture all the action; I hope we don’t get edited out. There was a huge camera boom to capture what I do not know. There was music. There were fireworks that would put the Salem 4th of July celebration to shame.
The groom arrived on the traditional white horse having been announced by a group of pipers and drummers who serpentined down the driveway. The groom was followed by twelve wooden elephant carts the main purpose of which was to provide more light and movement and to add yet more expense to the event.
The ladies arrived after the groom and his attendants but we never did see the bride. Still, it was enough to give us a good taste of what an Indian wedding is like even if we didn’t get to sample the snacks.
Those of us who had rooms on the front of the hotel directly overlooking the festivities were happy to hear that the music was supposed to diminish after 11 pm. Reports in the morning indicated that it hadn’t been much of an issue.