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The Mehndi

PAKISTAN | Sunday, 25 July 2010 | Views [693]

That is the party. The bride and groom are married, and now the families come together, merge. Elaborate decorations. Flowers, hung up on strings. A dance floor. And a  stage for the bride and groom.

We waited quite a bit. The festivities were supposed to start at nine. Sure, the groom would not come at nine, but when he wasn't there at 10.30, we really started wishing he was. He cam at 11pm. His whole family and friends came in one procession, and entered with drums, and dance. They were clad in typically punjabi dress. They were greeted from our side (the bride's side) with more flower necklaces (godly jasmine and rode). The headed straight for the dancefloor, and danced to the beat of the drums.

The bride entered, looking like a princess. Any more beautiful and I would have started to cry right then and there. She had been to the beauty parlour for hours to get everything just right - nails, hair, makeup, jewellery.

The joining of the families and friends was done by engaging in a friendly dancing competition between the two sides. Friends, and family from my cousin and my cousin's brother and sister had gotten together for weeks before and studied dances. They danced really well! The groom's friends and family, too had rehearsed some songs, even though it seemed less coordinated, but the energy was high! Bride and groom were watching from their stage-platform. Smiling and looking very presenable. A little like in one of the fairy tales.

Personally, I think that investing the energy and time to rehearse a dance as a friend of the bride's brother or sister seems to be "normal" here, but I feel like that is true appreciation, showing of bond, friendship and love. Sure, not all dances went impeccable, but that was also partly due to the DJ (who figured he'd spice stuff up by playing the wrong version of the song every now and then).But overall there must have been over 10 dances, and they created an atmoshphere of joy for movement and perfomance.

Break for food, and more dancing before the stage opened for "freestyle" dancing. I danced, and it amazingly was one of those rare moments, where you are not connected to your body anymore, but the dspirit of dance moves though you and your limbs and body move to the beat of the music without you own doing....do you know what I mean? It is the ultimate creative expression, I think. It was wonderful.

There is a law that says Mehndi parties can last only until 2am. So we were done at 3am. My cousin's family had rented a hotel room, and the "kids" (I defined myself as one of those) went up for more partying. No music, but extremely high energy  from all friends, sisters and brothers friends, grooms family and friends...It was wonderfully decadently foolish.

Got back at 5am (!ha! when did THAT happen the last time!) and wrote a blog (see Nikka),just because I want to write before the memory becomes a dream.

Anyway it seems to me that everything in the past might as well have been a dream, and everything in the future is just imagination...its like a marble in a bowl. The only time to be at rest is now.

Tags: family, friends, joining of families, mehndi, party

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