a wedding and a toast

Since I have been harping non-stop on this friend’s wedding and the pre-wedding events for some time to come, figured I’d go ahead and spend a few minutes on the cutesy stuff.. Also, a few “kids” have been complaining on the rated stuff Ive been posting of late, figured this raconte would do us all a world of good.

So the friend’s wedding over last weekend, was a simple, cozy, closed affair. Everyone knew almost everyone, not crowded and enough room for everyone to co-mingle and enjoy the day. And what a day that turned out to be?! Gorgeous sunny, with a light breeze, blue skies, pleasant late 60’s – perfect.

The baraat was just plain enjoyable for all of the above reasons included.

The backdrop colors the bride picked were beautiful. Breathtakingly beautiful. The mandap was a bright orange and fuschia with off-white and gold work, just simple 4 panels framing the centerstage. The same setting transformed magically for the evening with the lights, colors, chandeliers, the orange and fuschia tablecloths with lilies and lotuses as centerpieces. Placed strategically at the entrances were a group of high kuthuvizhakkus [long kerala style brass lamps] with lotus stems swirling around them set on a complicated pieces of rangoli.

An elegant blend of her malabar and his punjabi heritage.

Just realized that the photographer – Regeti – has posted the snaps on his blog, so here you go. I know Regeti since a few years now and he’s helped me with putting together portfolios, fashion shoots of all the girls [and few more] you see in the pictures during fashion shows I’ve organised around the area. He’s a creative arty guy with an eye for latent beauty and creates bewitching frames, and his wife’s so much fun – that when we get together, it’s like a little laugh riot! So yes, it was nice to know that he was the official photographer for her wedding. She was once his (my) model and that surely shows in the pictures. Beautiful aren’t they? :)

So, anyways, on how my day went.

For starters – the munchkin dressed in all her finery in silk skirt, bangles and right down to the paper jasmines on her extra long false braid and little kuppelu/kunjalam/parandi at the end, ran all around the place happily getting into people’s ways and spreading more cheer and laughter to all around.

At opportune moments she would decide to visit the restroom – 5 times to be precise in 2 hours. How do I know it’s 5? Coz I counted. Coz there were 5 stalls and each time she used a different one. That’s how I know.

..and there she’d be fascinated with the fluffy white towels, the fragrant soap “smells soo good mommy, here, smell. Smellll, I said Smell!everytime! Insist on standing on the counter so she could check herself out, and make sure her choker was around her neck tight, and her papidibilla/tikka sat in place, insist on some more lipstick [read chapstick], switch bangles between hands each time coz she has learnt to count and by freak luck, i could manage only 11 on one side and 12 on the other. So each of her hand got to play turns in sharing the single odd one!

In between tending to diva and her divaness, I managed to get hired to do a ‘joote de do’ loot! The original bridesmaid for the job had to do something else and I was next in line. So I stealthily walked up to the mandap and draped my beautiful moss green pallu over the pair and thought I’d make a smooth exit, when bam! I run into this huge old man. He was standing watching me and was waiting to trap me by blocking off the entrance. His wife or someone who could fit that role, runs up and starts ribbing me in an attempt to tickle [?] me perhaps so i’d drop the pair?!!

excuse me?!
Seriously did she really think a grown woman would get tickled in the middle of all the noise and people? So, after I managed to actually stand there unfazed while I stared right back at her waddly frame, and gave her and her 3 other helps who’d formed a barricade, the slip [I mean, I don’t dance for nothing, gotta help me somewhere!] scuttle off through a hidden door, the jutis were safely deposited in a pram for the time being with a strong guard of various sizes of women around, and due $ were collected later on. Mission Accomplished!

Evening was fun and magical. Yes, that’s the right word. Magical.
The ambience, the mood, the sentiment in various forms, it was an evening to remember for a long time. I am not even going to get into the details and try putting it all in words as am pretty sure I won’t find the right words, or worse yet I’d spoil it.

Maybe it was the fact that she’s a good friend, maybe it is the fact that am at a vulnerable moment in my life when romance and love does mean a thing, maybe it was the mood, or maybe it was my personal creation of the toast, as I read it along with a friend, my hand shook, and my voice quivered for an instant.

As the spotlight fell on me standing in front of the bride and her beau, and while words rang in the hushed audience, my voice came out soft yet clear. Their eyes conveyed what I wanted to hear and that was in my way a meaningful gift I could ever give them.

Here is what I composed and read:

As the glistening lights fade
The music comes down to a sway
Flowers from your braid
Have done their job for the day

It will be just you and he
A moment in time
A whirlwind quite sublime

Step hand in hand
As you walk towards your sacred land
A shine in your eye
A whisper on your lips
A bond beyond all highs

A friend
A partner
A husband and a wife
Names do differ
The knot yet remains the same

Our girl is a fine doll
Eyes bright and wide
A smile beaming with pride
As she becomes one with you
In mind body and soul

Walk forth dear lovers at heart
The magic has just begun
A passion that’s sure to shame the sun

As we gather to wish this young couple
Raise your glass with a smile
For this is the day they become one in Style.

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21 thoughts on “a wedding and a toast

  1. So what was this? A North Indian intersection American wedding?

    Your daughter is hilariously cute:).

    Hey how much time do you spend time writing these poems?

  2. Wow – looked at the photos – sooo beautiful. I wish Melbourne had the same resources to make a wedding look that spectacular. Sadly since most people go back to India to get married we don’t have the same access to such beautiful backdrops and stuff. Sigh.

  3. silvara – Really?! Gosh, I’d have thought we desis populated Melborune/Australia quite a bit.. am surprised!

    We don’t have to go back to India for anything :) With so many desi-nondesi weddings happening, during summer, we at least have 3 weddings covered by the Washington Post!

    Ok – they both are desi born and raised here, just like mine, so yes, they are as much “west” as they are desi. Can’t use “american” coz that’s so politically incorrect. America being land of immigrants et al..

    Munchkin’s a riot. There’s more tales to tell :)
    regd poem – wrote it at work on Friday evening, tweaked a few words Sat morn. Why do you ask?

  4. Rads,

    Your dotter is soooo cute. :–) I could almost imagine her running around. Love to her.

    The toast is awesome!! I have not been to an Indian wedding in the US yet, sounds a lot of fun. :–)

  5. saw the photos.. must say all the women are uber hawt :) photos have come out very nicely!! esp the riot of colours and all.. louvely. and nice poem!

  6. ok:

    forget her [see disclaimer below]. don’t waste time writing poems for her – you are much better off writing poems for rads, the munchkin, and/or your blog readers, who are all likely to enjoy them much more :-). trust me on this one.

    sk:

    “I have not been to an Indian wedding in the US yet, sounds a lot of fun.”

    me neither, but will soon be. luckily for me, i will not be toasting anyone (except myself ;-). that is much better for everyone concerned!

    – s.b.

    disclaimer (for ok): unless of course, things have changed significantly since i last was on your blog.

  7. rads:

    you are too much!

    nice pictures, nice poem, nice toast, and nice post! since you were so prominent, should you not be on one (or more) of the photos? are you? i wonder!

    munchkin is smart. but she talks to you in english, not telugu or tamil??!! :-(

    that juti stealing part was funny! you should have climbed over the huge old man. the tickling part sounded weird.

    “We don’t have to go back to India for anything :) “

    hmmm … that sounds incorrect – and not just politically! looks like someone has really crossed the rubicon now.

    ‘Can’t use “american” coz that’s so politically incorrect.’

    ha ha. so what about the ‘north indian’ part? that sounds pretty politically incorrect in the usa, for sure. i would go with ok’s version, ‘coz in this instance, we know what “indian” denotes and what “american” does.

    – s.b.

  8. hey..the photos are FANTASTIC!!!
    ure right..it does look magical…
    great toast!
    am supposed to make one at my friends wedding in dec, am already nervous…

  9. awesome pics :-) and u exactly knw wat I mean :p

    gr8 poem too…… I can never write a poem, tat too in english!!!

    munchkin is jus such a cutiepie………. keep rocking :-)

  10. s.b.: Everything is too cryptic for me to follow. I am a guy. So make it simple and straight.

    FYI I write stories not poems:). I consider poems to be too girly and soft.

  11. ok – ahem@poems. Have you read Neruda?! He writes some strong stuff :)

    KC – Yes I do. They are crisp aren’t they? :)
    Funnily the poem means more to folks who have someone to share it with. My co-worker broke into tears reading that. She’s gettin married in 3 weeks :)

    Nandita – yes, they are, arent they? :) You are a sensitive writer, am sure you will come up with something stirring :)

    SB – You really want me to get into a “discussion”, dont u? :p
    Nope, am not in the pics there, or I wouldn’t have linked :)
    Sadly, munchkin not talking in telugu is where I fall short as a mom. But then am allowed one little setback when I rock in the rest? :) It’s not for the lack of trying, with her at least…

    That statement “We don’t have to go back to India for anything :) “ – was purely meant wrt marriage prep and stuff. Back up until 5 yrs ago, everything was a challenge, now the ease at which we get supplies here is mind-blowing. I know :)

    Nope. Am sticking to what I said.
    Bride’s from south, groom from north. In the larger pic, they are indian kids raised here in the US. That makes them united as Indians and Americans as thats the nationalities we refer to.
    BUt then, US is not necessarily white, we are multi-hued and thats what’s fantastic about it.
    :)

    Baliga – They are ;) Remember what I told you about fashion shows some time ago? :)

    SK – lol, yes, she is a handful, and there’s more from where that came from. Indian wedding here are unique. When soemone invites, please accept and go. :)

  12. Heheh Oh in Sydney and in Brisbane it’s quite booming but Melbourne for some reason is seriously lagging behind in the wedding front. I was even resorting to getting my mandap shipped from Brisbane because we just don’t have anything here!! but then I couldn’t justify spending about $5000 on something that will be up for about 2 hours (it will be dismantled for the reception).

  13. I was looking at the wedding photos on that site and sighing all day. I have the classic crappy wedding photos that I never look at if I can help it.

    Maybe I should plan a renewing my vows ceremony on a beach in Hawaii and invite the spouse along as a sidekick. But even that may not get him sexcited :(

  14. Terri – we should meet. You and I share many views and lifestyles :(
    I hate myself in my wedding pics – don’t the folks make you look positively ugly! I doubt I had a say in anything :(

    Silvara – agree, that seems like a lot of money! But you are off to India where the choices are tremendous. So enjoy :)

    Madsies – I didnt send you pics? Will do.

  15. Loved the description of the wedding. Could almost visualise you doing the “joots-de-do” act :)

    Agree with all. Munchkin is so sweet!
    The poem was too good!

  16. Blogger’s acting up with not letting folks comment! :|

    Lakshmi said:
    Rads, my twin, sorry, triplet soul (considering Terri is my twin soul already!) I relate TOTALLY !”

  17. Terri, Lakshmi – yes! Let’s do it. I could rope Regeti in to do some candid shots, maybe they’d come in handy if we ever want to try to “sexcite” the husbands? :)

    Whatsinaname – hehe, thanks! That old man would make a good offensive lineman..and I made a fine running back if I say so myself! :D

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