Friday, December 11, 2009

At the register office...

....a very close friend of mine got married today. He sent me an invitation last week (oh..men!!) but I somehow managed to take the day off, make sure Ashok's travel plans were right and purchase a good gift.

The day began with a -2 deg C temperature and rain and as the day progressed, it started snowing too. Such weather calls for warm clothes, pullovers, jackets, scarves and whatnots....all in sober colors and I was thinking 'But its a wedding....' and that deserves bright colors, fancy clothes with a festive touch. The weather lost the battle and we got dressed in style, the wedding style - me in a bright salwar that you can spot from a mile away and Ashok in a suit.

After a train and taxi ride, when we reached the Rathaus (city hall), it was all so quiet that I suspected that we were at the wrong place...although I knew it was going to be a simple affair, I think I was expecting some sort of 'wedding indication' like flowers in the entrance or people waiting or some form of hulchul. On looking for the register office, we found a room and we finally heard voices and were greeted by a room with 18 people, with the bride and groom sitting in the front row and the registrar sitting at a table with a flower bouquet on it.

The wedding lasted 10 minutes (the shortest wedding I have ever been to!) - 5 minutes of oration by the registrar, 5 min for saying 'I do', exchanging rings and kissing the bride. Afterwards, champagne was offered to everyone and then we moved to a restaurant in the neighbourhood for lunch. Since this was the first time we were meeting the friend's family, time was spent in introductions and the rest discussing the usual questions about India (cuisine, yoga, bollywood, Indian weddings, clothes, languages) and about our stay in Germany/Europe....it was fun since every time at least one of them comes up with an unusual/awkward/embarassing question that always ends up being funny.

After some excellent ravioli, came out the dessert....9 different cakes !! The groom's mother, sister and cousin had all baked cakes. Although I am not fond of cakes and I rarely take more than a bite (just for being polite), I had 2 pieces and they were absolutely sumptuous ! If you click on the photo, you will see what I mean.

Espresso followed the cakes and then came the hugs, wishes and the goodbye.

Here are some things I saw, that I know would completely shock/astonish anyone back home....maybe this will change....well..who knows...
- The whole celebration lasted 4 hours.
- 20 people were invited to the wedding.
- The groom offered to pick us up for the wedding (and I vehemently denied it!)
- The bride's mother was not there (She lives in another country and does not have a passport to travel).
- The bride was wearing a simple black dress.
- No official photographer was present.
- There was no music.

but....there were big smiles on everyone's face, tears in the mother's eyes, the bride turned red when she was kissed, the siblings dutifully arranged all the cakes that they had painstakingly baked the previous day, another was running around with a digicam and a handycam, friends had traveled without giving a second thought to weather or work....Yes, a wedding is always a Wedding :)!
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Website Hit Counter I had decided to have a counter only after I hit a 1000 views and since it happened last week (as on 14 Dec 2009), now is the time to see some stats :)