Amritsar Weddings – Part One

I’ve tried posting this story about three times and the **** software keeps freezing up and then sending everything to NeverNever Land!
So once more into the breech….
I landed in Delhi, was whisked away to Micky and Sheeba’s lovely home and promptly stuffed into my new suits (I really have been eating way too much of late). Sheeba, having determined that the fit wasn’t to her satisfaction, promptly called for the tailor to come over – at 10 at night – only in India I think. They were returned to me at 9 the next morning – perfectly tailored and off we headed to Amritsar. What followed was a kaleidoscope of people, colour, music and food!

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We visited with Sheeba’s parents and extended family in their haveli in the centre of the city; kids running around, people chatting, coming and going, lots of food and drink. Then off to Sheeba’s sister Deepa’s home which is surrounded by gorgeous gardens to relax and prepare for the evenings’ party.

I don’t really know what I was expecting – I have been to Hindu weddings in Toronto but this was way more than I imagined. First off, while I absolutely adore my two new Salwar Kameez – one being a birthday present from Sheeba and Micky – I did feel quite “sparkly” in them. Turns out I was by far the most conservatively dressed woman there! The colours and patterns and jewels were completely in tune with the event – over the top to staid Torontonian sensibilities – but stunningly gorgeous! The men weren’t too shabby either in their perfectly tailored suits and impeccably turned turbans. A visual feast for the senses.

Add in that there were about 1200 people; a dance floor with pyrotechnics and smoke machines; a VJ and a DJ; photographers, videographers and lighting men; wait staff carrying mini charcoal BBQs with delightful snacks (tho’ a bit hard on the staff I thought) and a bar with all the premium liquor you could want and you have a bit of an idea.
We arrived at around 9:30, left at 1:30 and the party was still in full swing! I managed to acquire a couple of rather sweet, very drunk, younger than my son admirers – sheesh – just once it would be nice to attract someone reasonably close to my age and not drunk – really!

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The next morning we primped and dressed – possibly even more beautifully – for the actual wedding at the Gurdwara. It was a delightful mix of the solemn, the sublime and the silly. The ceremony took place amidst an active construction site with scaffoldings, plasterers and painters. The priests were fierce, lean and serious, the bride looked like she might pass out from exhaustion at one point and everyone else talked, came and went at leisure. The men stood on one side looking appropriately stern and the women sat on the other looking like a flock of stunningly feathered birds of paradise!

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Finally off to the hotel for the reception – maybe only 7 or 800 people!
By this point I was buzzing on sensory overload, too much food and jet lag. I lurched back to the family farm for a three hour face plant! After being revived with tea and biscuits – like I needed more food – we headed out again for dinner at family friends. Perfect hosts, superb single malt whiskeys, lots of yummy appetizers and a full course dinner at 11  – pm!

More tales to come…

3 thoughts on “Amritsar Weddings – Part One

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