I showered and got ready at speed so that I could take some photos of myself in my new clothes as requested, before the taxi arrived. The camera battery was fully charged and the memory card almost empty so I thought nothing of leaving the spare cards and battery pack behind.
The wedding party was held at the Seven Seas Banquet (somewhere in the region of the Hyatt Hotel and Delhi Cantt). The moment I went to take a photo of Deepti and her family, the camera gave a ‘card failure’ error message and that was that. The memories of this day will have to remain in my head. In addition to the amazing bharat costumes, some of the traditions or rituals which intrigued me the most included: the groom arriving on a white horse amidst a crowd playing music with all sisters dancing at the lead; the sisters blockading the entrance way preventing the groom from entering the hall until sufficient money had been thrown at them; the entrance of the bride under a blanket of flowers (shows she’s to be pampered) and the exchanging of garlands. The garlands are dense with petals and are clearly very heavy. The bride must reach up and place the garland over the groom’s head, yet the groom’s head is substantially higher than usual due to the white, ornate turban worn. Custom states that if the groom bends his head to aid her place the garland on him, he will bend his back to her throughout the marriage. Naturally, the groom stands as tall and upright as possible causing a problem for the shorter bride.