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Lillylilla's travels notebook

Delhi. Four days stay and a marriage

INDIA | Thursday, 20 December 2007 | Views [1080]

India © Lillylilla / Flickr.com

India © Lillylilla / Flickr.com

I slept for hours in this house I soon felt like home in India. There are so many things I remember from these first days in Delhi… Thought they might seem insignificant for anybody else, they will remain in my memory as this first morning when I wake up and went to the living room where everybody was, having tea. I still saw my friend’s mother opening the curtains to let the light come in when a hanging decoration started to moved producing a crystal sound as the glass balls it was made with chocked… then the light passed throught the pieces of glass enlightening, in a very singular way, some few parts of the room…

Yet we had to be prepared for the marriage. All dressed up, standing in the living room, we were ready - I had succeeded in taking off from the bottom of my bag back the dress and the high heel shoes I brought for the occasion. My friend’s mother and his sister in law were wearing saris. In the afternoon, his mother has showed us the bangles she owned. Indian women wear them in every life occasions. Colours are most of the time coordinated with the clothes they wear. They can be made of gold, silver, metal, glass or plastic. In any case you have to wear them on both arms. We were on the terrace having tea – I confess: coffee for me – when she brought us her plain and bright bangles she used to keep in paper boxes. For me who didn’t know anything about them and never saw any, that was amazing… they were plenty of different colours… Among all, which remains, was the time we spent looking at them, trying to imagine them with sari or dress we were supposed to wear that evening. It might had been nothing much than that, a chitchat between women talking about bangles… but it would remained as the first moment I was warmly offered to live and experiment India from the inside…

On the first evening, we went at a party where I tested ‘Vodka-Limca’’ as they don’t drink so much wine… The protestant ceremony happened in the morning on the next day and it was followed by a cocktail. After a quick rest in the afternoon we went to the place where the traditional marriage had to take place. Once we were there, it seemed like a fairy tale to me…

We followed a narrow alley decorated on each side with colourful petal of flowers and which open to a vast garden surrounded by a big building… Pink tents had been settled for guests to have dinner later on. Bar tenders, cookers and waiters were still at work to be sure everything would be ready on time… Also on the left side was a small tent I was explained bride and groom would stay for a while so people could come to congratulate them and give them their gifts. Lights were hanging in the trees and braseros were already lighted in case the night would be chilly…

They were my friend best friends. I had met them in Paris, one or two years before, on their Europe tour. I was their ‘tourist guide’ even if at that time I used to live and work in Switzerland. That night we were so far from Paris and any other place I had been before…

Family and friends were already there. Most of the women wear saris. I’ve never seen then so many of them. Couldn’t tell about all the colours… I didn’t take any pictures… There are some photographs you prefer to keep in mind because you know they couldn’t ‘fill’ the frame. There was earlier in the afternoon the henna ceremony so the bride’s feet and hands were covered with them… She wear a red sari, gold and red set jewellery as it is the most often colour used for marriage… Both of them sat down in the hall of the building where carpets, cushions had been well organised before to make the place more comfortable and draw a specific area where the ceremony would take place. Bride and groom were facing the man who lead the ceremony. Their parents were seated on each side, close friends and family were just behind them while other guests could seat on chairs arranged all around what I figured out like a ‘ritual square’. From its outside I followed the ceremony and all rituals which mean so much even if I couldn’t understand them in details… Suddenly they were standing up and surrounded by everybody to congratulate them… Be there was a moving moment…

Tags: bride, ceremony, dehli, groom, india, marriage, party

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