We all woke up a little late -- and enjoyed a leisurely and late breakfast. After all, today was all about resting before the big event! There was a lot of napping that occurred today -- we had a few very late nights out, and tonight was to be more of the same. We needed to be prepared!
We each had our jobs. Allan was in charge of the money for the band, the lights and the horse. Jardine ran errands as necessary. Steve and I were in charge of being with Max -- being a loving presence for him. Larry (and Boo too) were to be in charge of affixing the flowers to Max's hat for the wedding. As a side note, ever since he arrive Allan has been mistaken for Max on more than one occasion -- in fact when Max changed rooms to move to the bridal room to be with Devika tonight, a cousin of Devika's working on logistics asked Allan for his key -- thinking it was the key to the new room. What a surprise to find out it wasn't!
When the time came to start downstairs, Manju met us in the lobby to help with the headdress for Max. The flowers were beautiful -- at the Mehndi party, Boo and I thought they were paperwhites -- they weren't. They were the same as the ones to be hung on Max's hat -- to make a headdress. They were jasmine! Manju, the wonderful woman from New Jersey who helped me put on my sari the other day was there to assist Larry (and Boo) in attaching the veil of flowers to Max's hat. It weighed a great deal! I'm not sure how Max was able to see through all the flowers -- good thing he's not allergic to jasmine! Here is a picture of Manju and Larry working on the headdress with Aditya and Boo looking on.
The time came when we had to make our way outside. While it had been raining off and on all day, we had a patch of "no rain" -- so it was a good time to make a run for it! There was a car in front of the hotel all decorated to take us down to the bottom of the driveway where the horse and the band were. It isn't far at all, and there was only room for 4 of us in the car -- so the other members of our party (Reva, Allan, Boo and Larry, Max's friend from UT Austin and 3 of his colleagues as well as Aishwayra had to walk down. Here's a picture of the car we (Max, Jardine, Steve and yours truly) rode down the hill in.
When we arrived at the bottom of the hill, we were greeted by the horse and its handler, the band, and the people carrying the lights. The lights were kerosene powered, and the people carrying them carried them on one shoulder. They lit our way up the hill. You can see the red jug of kerosene with the lights shining as Aishwarya is dancing in the foreground and Max on the horse in the background.
The horse was very gentle and beautifully decorated. I couldn't figure out how the horse didn't get freaked out by the very load music of the band. Boo found out that the horse's name was Sugar. The horse had the most beautiful eyes! More, it was "dressed" for the event. Max got on top of the horse and looked so regal as we started our way up the hill. The horse's handler walked Max and the horse up the hill. Every time we stopped for the band to play, the saddle was a bit loose so Max would sway back and forth.
The band stopped a number of times to play. Max's former student and Aishwarya were great at getting the dancing going. The more we walked, the more we stopped and they played. As we got towards the top, the last time we stopped before getting to the top the band played the same song that was played as the groom entered in the movie Monsoon Wedding. As they began to play this song -- it started to rain very hard! Just like the movie Monsoon Wedding, we all got SOAKED!
Devika's family met us at the entrance to the banquet and wedding -- and then there came Devika down the hallway. We were lead down the hallway and entered the area where the wedding took place. Max and Devika took off their shoes and entered the Mandap -- a covered area that was beautifully decorated with flowers. The Pandit was kind, and the service lasted about an hour or so. As we found was customary, food and drinks were distributed to the guests during the service, and talking went on around the festivities. It was mentioned to me that that would be a great benefit to American weddings -- distribute food and drinks during the service. Hmmm. I don't think so! Here's a picture of Devika coming down the hallway.
I leave you with pictures of Devika, some of the wedding and some of the pictures of the reception.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Road No 1, Hyderabad, India