I always seem to feel a bit ill after so much travel, so I basically relaxed and threw up the first couple days I was in India. Bangalore was much larger than I realized it would be. My ‘hotel’ was actually a room in a country club, arranged for by Lakshmi and her soon to be husband. Much of these first few days before the wedding was just preparation… I especially remember looking though a book of pictures of massive flower displays that said ‘CONGRATULATIONS’ written in marigolds for the perfect one for the wedding.
The day before, all the girls went together to get facials. I have no clue what they put on my face, but it hardened up so much so that I couldn’t even open my eyes or mouth… luckily I wasn’t congested that day or I don’t think I would have been able to breathe.
I spent a little bit of time touring a nearby palace with Lakshmi’s other guests. It was just like what you would imagine colonial India to be like. Complete with stools and tables made from stuffed elephant feet and trunks.
The wedding had so many guests, I would guess about 1000. Lakshmi had arranged for me to wear a Sari and thankfully there were many ladies in the back room to help me dress. Who knows how many steps there were to putting that thing on. The wedding consisted ceremony consisted of some priests sitting on a stage under a beautiful canopy (like a chuppah) covered with flowers. I’m not sure why they did anything that they were doing. They set some things on fire, walked around the canopy in one direction, then in another, then repeated the process. Some women came out and then washed a stick of bamboo… they may have later set it on fire, I have no clue. They washed feet, tied coconuts to their clothes, and set more things on fire. Then they repeated these things. This went on for hours. I asked several people what was going on and why and I never got an straight answer. I was able to go up and sit next to the canopy to watch (everyone in the family took turns going to sit up there) but you had to take off your shoes before going up on stage. After all of this, guests (all 1000) went up one by one on stage to take pictures with the couple. Dinner was served down in the basement. Everyone had their own leaf (instead of a plate) and there was certainly no silverwear to be found. There were so many guests that dinner was served in waves. While dinner was being served, other guests were upstairs giving gifts to the happy couple.