Wednesday, November 28, 2007

L.A. Times - 1

This thanksgiving, the chosen vacation destination was Los Angeles. An undergrad friend's wedding at the Malibu Temple was the occassion.

Some highlights about the wedding:

- The wangled invitation which arrived about two months ago threw me into a fit of excitement - aiii, at long last, a chance to show off my saree :-D! I finished the accessory shopping immediately - I doubt even the bride was that prompt - heheheh! I later found that pretty much all the women folk had reacted with the same glee at the opportunity to show off desi clothes :-)!

- The wedding was one of the most fun ones I have ever been to. The crowd had a higher percentage of friends than relatives. The friends took the liberty of yelling out their observations right during the ceremony and the bride and groom reacted in real time :-). The entire atmosphere was relaxed and happy.

- The priest was a white guy complete with kudumi et al :-D. He chanted all the mantras in heavily accented Sanskrit followed by English translations. He conducted the ceremony pretty well.

- The wedding food was - WOW! Just like wedding food back in India. I think my friends and I were responsible for finishing up roughly half of the food in the buffet :-)!

- This being Amrikka and everything, the bride's and the groom's family had to pitch in together to decorate the mandapam, do the party favors etc. The end result was lovely and looked quite professional.

- All of us had a tough time digesting the fact that S was getting married. But the radiant bride and the happy groom were on stage for all to see :-).

- The wedding ceremony itself was an amalgam of customs from various parts of India. In fact there were some customs I have never seen before. For e.g., the couple did only four circles around the fire instead of the traditional seven. However, afterwards, the priest made seven small piles of rice on the floor. Each pile apparently represented some quality and the bride and the groom had to scatter the each pile together with their right feet (which part of India is this custom from?).

- In the after-the-wedding party at the bride's parents' place, it became obvious that the bride's family is super talented in the fine arts department. Everyone in their family seemed to know how to sing, play violin, keyboard, guitar - you name it! My friends and I were proud displayers of our clapping talent :-(. However, R in our group saved our collective (ahem) honor to some extent by playing the flute very well :-)!

- I ate so much food that day. The weirdest part was, I was bursting at the seams at the end of each meal time. And yet was ravenously hungry by the time four hours were up. My guilt was somewhat assuaged by the fact that everyone I met said I had become super thin - yaay :-D. (unfortunately this comment was later altered to "You look super thin in a saree. In jeans you don't look all that thin." - sigh)

- The wedding marks the first time I have attended any undergrad classmate's wedding. Finally - phew!

Finally, tip: Never ever try travelling long distance on the day before thanksgiving. It took us four hours to to get to a destination which is normally 2 hours or lesser away :-(!


J said...

wow, nice read :-) Ah, ippa yosichaa dhaan theriyuthu, I have attended only one friend's (SK's) wedding so far.

orae friends, galatta, supera irukum la :-) I wish I could attend the remaining friends' wedding in future.

Anita said...

the wedding sounds like so much fun! i guess upside of getting married in the u.s. is that you do away with all the stuffy relatives who will secretly bitch about how the rasam tasted awful.

Joy said...

weddings of friends and siblings are always fun! Hows Malibu? I read about some wild fires there?

SK said...

Sounds like you had good fun! :--)
I havent been to any of my classmates wedding. In fact I havent attended a wedding in the last 10 years I think, except my own of course, but thats different. :--)
But I do feel seeing pics/videos of wedding, makes me feel like I was almost there. :--))

Anonymous said...

Weddings and that of classmates is always great fun. One of my friends got married the previous week in India and I couldn't be there.

Please send our belated wishes to your friend.


Archana Bahuguna said...

Good to know Arch that you had such fun... I recently showed off my saree in a Diwali fest .. he he :-). I think in fact the main idea to go the fest was this only...

Archana said...

J - thank you :-)! Ya - attending friends' weddings are SO much fun. I have gone to very few of them though :-(!

Sindu - heheheh, that's true too :-)!

Joy - We did not see any fire though we were in that area.

SK - yup we did :-)! Hehehe, ya - your wedding does not count :-)! I like looking at wedding pics and videos too!

Senthil - Ah, that always sucks :-(! Sure - thank you!

Archana - :-D! LOL - hehehe, my exact sentiments :-P!