Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Big Fat Indian Wedding & Cricket w/ Spicey Masala Chips

I have been a bad blogger, teasing you with pictures and no stories….so let’s reeeeewind.

Last weekend – My Big Fat Indian Wedding

Was a fantastic photo opportunity, but sadly did not meet my bollywood-induced expectations. It was just the reception, because here the really important part with dancing and ceremony is the wedding, for close friends and family, and the reception is for everyone to come and talk and eat.

I went over to Rupa’s in Secunderbad and stopped on the way to get fresh jasmine for my hair. I got there way before the reception so we sat around and sang, it turns out Rupa has studied classical Indian singing, which is so different from western singing that I was enthralled just trying to figure out how she produces the exotic tones. She thought the same about my opera singing. We both agreed that if we tried to do each other’s music it would sound like a caricature, so we put on some bollywood music and got ready for the wedding. It took Rupa about 10 minutes to wrap my saree, and she’s an expert, so I don’t have much faith in my future saree wrapping on my own. But we listened to Hindi music and got ready like it was a high school dance, and then we did a photo shoot to provide the lovely pictures previously posted.

It took us about 45 minutes to reach the wedding and we got stuck in a major traffic jam. We ended up sneaking off the road and driving down tiny side streets to bypass the congestion, which was completely stopped.

When we got there we waited to go on stage where the bride and groom were having a 2 hour photo shoot with all guests as they arrived. The bride was in an ornate outfit of blue and pink with gold accents and Mandar, the groom, was wearing a suit. Rupa and I waited our turn with a group of Google people and we went up and greeted the couple and gave them our present (a tapestry that Rupa and I picked out during our early week shopping spree). Then we just sat and talked and took lots of pictures with everyone we knew (and some people we didn’t know) and ate food from the vegetarian buffet. At about 10:30 it started clearing out and we headed home, sadly without having witnessed or participated in any dancing of any kind.

On Tuesday night I went with a group of optimizers to the ‘Dublin’ pub which turned out to be in the basement of the Sheraton. First we crowded 5 people into a four-seater hatch back and went to a stand to get ‘egg-rolls,’ but I abstained ;) When we got to ‘Dublin’ we played pool, ate spicey masala flavored chips, and watched the world cup of cricket. One of the optimizers is the captain of the Google cricket team, and he explained the rules of the game as we watched- I think I now vaguely understand beyond my expertise from watching Lagaan three times. Apparently, India was shamefully knocked out of the world cup early on, so we had to route for either New Zealand or Sri Lanka, although no one was particularly excited about either side.

Other than that, this week has been uneventful. I’ve been watching Hindi movies and TV with other expats, and tonight a group went out to dinner for 4 people from the UK/Ireland team who all happen to have their birthday’s this week. This weekend I’m going to Bombay with Shannon and I’ve booked a trip for a four day weekend for the following week to Kerala and the tea plantations in Munnar. I’m figuring out that if I want to travel, I need to decide what I’m going to do and then ask people to join me, and I’m trying to plan farther in advance, since this weekend we were really limited because most of the flights were really expensive at the last minute. Report from Bombay will be coming next week.

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