Monday, January 10, 2005

Chapter 2: the wedding

William and I arrived totally late. The temple was situated in a tiny rural town, with one street, surrounded by flat fields as far as the eye could see. The sky was amazing, with massive rain-pregnant clouds rearing up like the prows of battleships. The building was a converted grange hall (my times, they have a-changed). We were escorted into the hall by gender-specific ushers. I sat with the women and I didn't see William again for a couple of hours. Anu looked like a princess, I hardly recognized her. At the front, an old mad sat on a white-draped throne and presided over the blessings and delivered a homily at one point. Musicians sang an endless ballad about love in Hindi. An old man played an instrument that looked like a floor mounted accordion, a woman playing drums and another woman playing the cymbals accompanied him. The music was hypnotic... I found myself swaying and singing the choruses with them. At one pount every one stood up and threw flower petals at the couple. Another time, every one got up and took turns waving money over their heads and then throwing it at the musicians. Her father delivered a blessing from the Baba Singh Ji(who couldn't come, but sent a long and involved apology through his secretary). At another point, a bunch of people got up and kissed the feet of the man on the throne. Looking back, its like remembering a dream... nothing quite makes any sense.

We were finally dismissed and it was chaotic finding one's shoes again.

Then they fed us tea and a snack. The chai was way better than starbucks.
It began to rain at that point. A very serious little boy gave me a plate. I tried to find other Flip Floppers.

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