Pics from India

From my mobile

On the train from Delhi to Chandigarh, we passed by a slum. The biggest slum is in Mumbai.

Images from the big wedding:
On the left you can see the main stage. The far right you can see the dance floor. In between the main stage and dance floor was a crane that videotaped the entire event. You also see sectionals that people can lounge on, there were about 10 sectionals.

This is the opposite side of the stage/dance floor

Inside the reception hall, in the far back there is a baskin robbins ice cream stall!

This was the carriage that the bride sits in as the groom and his family carry her away. It was around 3:30am and this guy fell asleep

Even the band fell asleep!


India – the MAIN reception

Being the groom’s friend, the groom’s part of the wedding ceremony started at 7pm at the hotel in Chandigarh. Chandigarh is a 2.5 hour train ride from Delhi and is kind of like the Irvine of India. It’s a city where they actually put some thought into the layout of the city. It’s a stark contrast from Delhi and Agra. Chandigarh does not have a lot of traffic lights. Instead, there are traffic circles. Before you enter the traffic circle, there is a sign that tells you the various sectors that you can venture into, by number. We were in sector 17. There are also areas where honking is not allowed in Chandigarh. What a relief!

The groom got all dolled up in Indian bling. Such as a crown, yes, he gets to wear a crown like a KING! All the while the groom’s closest male friends and family get turban’d up. Even ❤ got a turban! Afterwards, the groom headed downstairs to the lobby where the band started playing. The live band played as the men danced in front of the horse. The groom got to ride his horse for a little bit. He got off the horse and got into his limo. Everyone else got into a car and we headed to the nearest temple. All the while, our cars blocked off all traffic on this main street!

Lucky us, we got to ride in the limo with the groom too! After a 15 minute stop at the temple, we headed to the main ceremony/reception area. It was 9:30pm at this time. We had to drive half an hour outside of the city to a desolate ranch area. The ranch had a reception hall where the dinner was served. Outside the reception hall was the main event. A stage, a ceremony site, a dance floor, food being cooked for patrons to eat, grills for the waiters to pass out hors d’oeuvres, a dessert table, a “pan” table, table seating area, sectional couches seating area, and let’s not forget the crane that’s hovering overhead documenting the entire event! Oh, and the fireworks. Plenty of fireworks.

As everyone danced the night away, the waiters passed out hors d’oeuvres to the seated patrons. The dancing went on until midnight. Then dinner was served in the reception hall. Another buffet, with a baskin robbins ice cream stand! At 1:30am the couple had dinner. The groom asked me, did you have any coffee? I said, no, it’s almost 2am! He said you should because the ceremony is about to begin. Me:….

Yes, I should’ve had coffee. At 2am the couple sat in the ceremony site area and the priest started chanting. The chanting went on for 1.5 hours. Alone with the chanting, the couple walked around a ring of fire seven times. This signified that the couple was now married! Yay! Now that the couple was married, the groom was able to “take” his bride from her family. We leave the ceremony at 4am. Back at the hotel at 4:30am.

What. a. night.

India – the wedding

Have you been to a Punjabi wedding? I meant, if you are non-Indian, have you been to a FULL Punjabi wedding? Me neither because this wedding is not over yet! This was my second Indian wedding, except this is my first full on Indian wedding. A rough agenda:

1. February in the US – Sangeet for the groom’s side

March in India:
2. Sunday evening, Sangeet for the bride’s side
3. Tuesday evening, Sangeet for the groom’s side
4. Wednesday evening, MAIN reception
5. Thursday before dawn, ceremony
6. Thursday afternoon, Lunch
7. Saturday evening, Wedding ceremony in groom’s local town

May in the states:
8. Final reception

Ok now let me explain each event:
1. Sangeet for the groom’s side. This was mainly the groom’s family and friends. Introduction of the bride. Cocktail hour was at 7pm. We all sat at 8pm. Time to eat dinner, right? Quite the contrary. A little girl and boy danced for the couple. Cute. Next, a guy played the drums. Awesome, where’s the food? Another girl danced. OK…next, five women danced. Hmm, my stomach started growling. The women lure the men to dance. Now everyone danced! Wait, where’s dinner??? Dinner was served at 10pm, whoa. We had to be the debbie downer because I had an early flight to Brazil the next day.

2. Unfortunately due to bad timing, we missed the bride’s Sangeet and arrived in Delhi when it was over. I believe the same thing as event #1 occurred.

3. Sangeet for the groom’s side, Chandigarh. From Agra to Chandigarh, we arrived when the party started dancing. Which means only half an hour longer before everyone started eating dinner! Yes! 11pm and the food is out! Indians sure do love their buffets. There was even Chinese style sweet and sour entree, with paneer.

4. The Main Reception. This deserves its own entry.

5. See Main Reception entry.

6. Our friend told us on Wednesday night that we should stop by and have lunch by the lake. OK, I’m thinking a cute little picnic with picnic tables right? Oh, what was I thinking really? The lunch by the lake ended up being more like a luncheon by the lake, complete with awnings, waiters serving hors d’oeuvres, and full on buffet!

7. We did not make this event since it was more for family. Off to HK we went.

8. TBD


Food in India

Since we were here for a wedding, we ate a lot of food buffet style.

-Our friend always ate the yellow dal. He said that it’s hard to find yellow dal in the US because it doesn’t really appeal to American tastebuds. You’re more likely to find black dal and in certain restaurants, you can request for yellow dal. If you like lentil beans, then I recommend trying the yellow dal.
-The paneer was cut in bigger cubes than the states. In the states the cubes are cut to about 1/2″ cubes. Here they are 1″ or bigger cubes.
-Fresh squeezed lime juice soda, sweet. You can get sweet or salty. Carbonated water, lime juice and some sweetner. Quite refreshing when the temperature is over 100 degrees.
-We even found fresh squeezed watermelon juice…yes!
-Guava…they have the guava that has the white pulp. My parents love this type of guava. Personally I’m not a fan of guava, pink or white. I don’t like white guava because the seeds are hard!
-Fresh dragonfruit! I haven’t had this since my parents stopped growing them, they’re quite pricey to buy in the states otherwise.

In certain countries you are warned to not drink the tap water, which is easy to practice. However, we were warned many times to not eat anything that was washed in the water, even the fresh sauces. Hmm…Indian food without chutney or any sauce? It makes me wonder if no one told us, would we be more inclined to dip away? I’ve been to three different parts of the world where I don’t drink the tap water, one being in Mexico (Rosarito, Monterrey, and Mexico City). In all parts I’ve had my go at chips and salsa without any reservations. Is my stomach’s digestive integrity really worth the risk? If our friends have been to India many times aren’t eating it, then what makes us an expert right? So we decided against it too. *sigh*

So to conclude, I can’t really say food in India was the best because I didn’t get to dive right in. If that’s the case, Indian food in the states isn’t so bad. Good thing we live within 25 miles of the best Indian food and we can eat Indian food in the states without any reservations, so we just dip away!