Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.– Lao Tzu
This is part of a series of posts which I will be releasing about my trip to India. If you haven’t checked out my last post you can click here to read it.
This time our India trip was a little special. We were going to India to attend a family wedding, one of my uncle’s wedding. Who doesn’t love a great wedding? I was excited and looking forward to the experience.
After our layover in Doha, we boarded our flight to Nagpur. It was a relatively small plane. We had a 4-hour flight to Nagpur and we reached sometime around 2:30 am India time. The entire journey from the US to Doha and Doha to Nagpur had been quite exhausting and it was wonderful being picked up by family at the airport. When we reached home I finally had a chance to relax after the long-enduring journey. You know the feeling when you are around family and everything feels perfect; I was feeling that.
Traveling halfway across the world isn’t cheap. Once in a while, we get a chance to visit family in India. In a way, it makes the journey much more lively and meeting the family much more exciting. I am very glad that I get a chance to visit my family and see India.
The day after we arrived we found ourselves in the middle of the wedding preparations. Our day began with heading out for shopping as we needed some Indian traditional dresses. By we, I mean my mom and her cousins, I was more dragged along for the ride.
We spent hours going to different shops and shopping around to find clothes and shoes to wear at the wedding. It was organized chaos trying to shop in India. Much like big cities, everyone is hustling. Everyone has a job and everyone is on the move. That is why I have come to love India so much. Nagpur, and India as a whole, is a very vibrant and colorful place and if you ever visit, you will be able to experience it first hand. Wherever you go you will be immersed in the incredible food, culture, and community that India has to offer. We spent the majority of that day shopping and we weren’t even done yet.
The shopping was endless. The second day greeted us with more shopping and in the evening, mehndi (henna tattoo). In Indian weddings, all of the ladies put henna on their hands. It is one of the traditional functions of an Indian wedding. The mehndi function went on for two days as some of the families would be arriving the next day.
The next day we would have a house packed to the brim with relatives from all around the world and they would all be there for the first of the weddings ceremonies. The mehndi function.
In the mehndi function, I met many relatives and my baby cousins. The function lasted the entire day. It was a very cheerful gathering of family. Mendhi functions are held around two days prior to the wedding.
The next day we moved into the hotel where all the wedding functions would be happening. The brides family would be arriving from Mumbai later that day and we would meet at the hotel and the ceremonies would begin. As we reached the hotel we had breakfast and the functions began. First, we had a Ganpati puja. All auspicious events begin with praying to Ganpati (god) for good luck and prosperity.
After the puja, we had the Haldi ceremony. In a Haldi ceremony, haldi (turmeric) is applied to the body of the bride and groom. It is put for good luck and it’s color. Yellow, in Hindu tradition, is a color of prosperity. And also, turmeric makes your skin glow. It’s good for those wedding photos.
In the evening we had the sangeet. The sangeet is a party that the families from both the groom and the bride come together to sing, dance, and have fun. Family members may even compete against each other to see who has a better performance. It results in a night of fun partying. We danced a lot. My mom danced with her cousins and I performed. I had a great time and I’m pretty sure everyone else did as well.
The next day was the wedding. We got up early in the morning and got ready for the Baraat. In the Baraat the groom goes to a temple where he prays to god and afterward he rides on a decorated horse while all his family members are walking beside him accompanied by a band. Music plays as all the baraatis (family members) dance on the streets. We had a wonderful time dancing and celebrating, even though it was extremely hot. As we reached the wedding venue the groom was welcomed by the bride’s family. Then the actual wedding ceremony began under the mandap as a priest chanted holy mantras. It lasted for two hours, and then we had lunch.
After lunch the Bidaai ceremony took place. The Bidaai ceremony is when the bride leaves her family and goes to the groom’s house. It is a very emotional time for her and her family because she is leaving behind her parents, her family, and going to a new home.
Once the Bidaai was done we checked out of the hotel and we went home and decorated the pathway and the front door with flowers to welcome the bride into her new home. The bride and groom prayed to the god in the home. Afterward, we got some time to relax and get ready for the evening reception. The reception was a wonderful ending to the wedding and there were at least 300 guests present that night. We took some nice family pictures and enjoyed with each other.
This is the second Indian wedding I have attended and I am looking forward to the next wedding in my family. If you get a chance to attend a wedding in India, I recommend that you take it. It is a wonderful experience.
In the next post, I will tell you about the rest of my vacation in India and also about how I visited one of the most beautiful valleys in India.
A Photo From The Reception