Big Fat Indian Wedding

Finally: India. 12.000 km from home, and sort of our destination. Here is a story of the first days there:

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The border crossing was easy enough, and even easier after agreeing to help the Indian bureaucrats with a little baksish (some mild form of bribe). After leaving the huge crowds witch came rushing to see and cheer on the nationalistic border closing ceremony on both Pakistani and Indian side (This peculiar event is covered somewhere on Radioselskpet), it was getting dark.
Time to find a suitable place to park for the night. After looking for a hotel or truck stop along the tuctuc-, cattle- and rickshaw-filled road towards Amritsar, we decided to try a place called something like Punjabi Resort, hoping that they could accommodate us. This turned out to be a place for wedding parties, and not ment for tourists like us. But it was owned by an extremely friendly Sikh named Manjinder, who agreed to let us park inside his gates, and use the bathroom in his office. The only condition was that we had to be gone by seven the next morning, when the preparations for a wedding that day would begin.
Furthermore, he invited us all in, and sent some servants out for food, beer and some whiskey (sikhs do not drink themselves, so a very friendly gesture). Later, as we ate and talked, he extended the invitation, as we were very curious about the wedding. We would be able to see the wedding through the windows from the office, and go for a stroll among the guests at some point, having a discreet look around.

Andreas taking over the wedding buisness

Next morning some of us got up at 6.00 for a football match with some of Manjinders friends (something they did 6 times a week!). After the quick awakening and male bonding with these turban-wearing players, we came back to find the bus half buried in flowers and stuff for the wedding. These were moved, and Atilla moved outside this lovely green garden.
The wedding was supposedly not a big one, as they expected only 500 guests. Really big ones can have up to 3000 guests. Manjinder told us that this could get a bit crowded, and he preferred the ordinary size with about 1500.

Big Fat Indian Wedding

The discreet look from the office (of course) turned into all of us being invited as guests by the families, and placed at a table being constantly served every kind of delicious Indian food imaginable, while watching a dance troop performing for hours beside the married couple. Also a bunch of bachelors was dancing and throwing money notes around. The bride and groom were on display on a separate stage, where they were constantly being professionally photographed and filmed with different family members. In the end we ALSO got invited onto the stage, and will now end up in the official wedding album (a very kitchy, and important thing for Indians).. Guess we became sort of an attraction in this beautiful, colorful setting.
The wedding party ended, and after the (arranged) bride left in a tear-drenched crying ceremony, we ate some more. Some of us almost exploded from the last sweetest-dessert-ever.
The next couple of days we relaxed in Manjinders company, seeing the famous Golden Temple in Amritsar, and enjoying the fantastic hospitality of this 24-year old man, and his family.
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When time comes, and we head home, he has convinced us to call him ahead, so that he can arrange "something special".. Looking very much forward to this, whatever it means.