Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mumbai Blogs- Day 2 and Day 3

Day 2 of Mumbai - the Mehendi

Second Day- Got up early! Had breakfast at canteen downstairs the block we were staying! Had tose masala which was tosai with potato curry (dry) in it. Nice! Tea was boiled and milky! I had coffee which tasted and looked like tea!

Tagged along with N on her errands - buying spree before their guests arrive for the Mehendi ceremony. (Auntie and Uncle had invited their relatives for Mehendi and for lunch. Around 30 plus came).

Had a chance to see a bit of town as we followed N around. Went to several shops looking for paper plates etc. Stopped at a St*nd*rd Charter*d bank trying to get Rupees but again, my ATM card was not recognised (even though they have the PLUS sign at the back) . In the meantime, posed in front of a huge house which was Amitabh Bachan's house. No point putting that pic here as all you can see is the brown timber gate with the security guard there. While we were there N and Uncle left to get flowers. Then to another shop to get gulab jamun and icecream. Nadine posed in front of M*ggi M*e localised- M*ggi Masala, Dal atta noodles! We wanted to get some but had no rupee darn it.

(View of Juhu from N's apartment)
When we reached N's parents' apartment the Mehendi gals were already there. As the guests were not yet there we had our turn first! Designs quite quite different than the ones done at Lana's wedding . Much bigger . I almost did not let Nadine have her hand done as she was going to school but thought that she'd have almost a week for it to fade . (its fading allready as I type this)

Special treat- auntie had this man who prepared several types of puri in the kitchen. Puri is a puff which he breaks into with a spoon, making a little hole into which he puts tomatoes, onions etc and the spicy soup . There were three types of puri including paneer puri, and shevpuri. (Pic is of shev puri from www.bloggang.com). I must have eaten 20.

We were constantly eating!! Auntie would not let us go without eating lunch or breakfast! At lunch and over the next few days it was food fiesta. Like going to P*ss*ge to Indi* all the time. Auntie had put out fried chicken which was marinated in spices, noodle (for Nadine) and other dishes such as fried fish (fried in crumbly spicy flour and not our typical tumeric), garlic bread, spinach chicken, butter chicken, mutton, prawn masala! know now where N got her cooking skills.
Dessert was gulab jamoon which I have had only the once in KL (it was too sweet then for me) . Over in Mumbai it was still sweet but eaten with icecream it was delicious! and not too sweet so that you can't eat it !There is even Gulab Jamun for diabetics! Here they sell Icecream in boxes! And gulab jamun in tubs!

At nite we tagged along again- poor N she could not shake us off he he he! This time around, the groom, Kaj and Dhi , followed to get some stuff. N had to look for chapals, and some stuff for the wedding the next day. We made several stops actually.First, she took us to this saree shop as the groom had to buy a saree for the bride as a gift. They chose a lime green and yellow piece. The groom also gave her a diamond necklace set. The saree shop she took us had some very very exquisite sarees which was , I had a feeling, way way way wayyyyyyyyyy over any budget I may have. Even the ones marked "faulty" were expensive by my standards lah! They were nice though!

Then we went to the market place near Andheri train station, to look for chapals. The market was full of colour and food, flowers, bangles, clothes etc were on display.

Day 3 of Mumbai – the Wedding

I’ve been describing the trip to India to my colleagues and the best description I can think of is going to a wedding of your close cousin where you are part of the family and involved in most things. We did not get this involved in our own cousins’ wedding – I guess because the culture is different etc and we live so close by that no one stays overnite or visit every other day!

The third day was the day of the wedding. We went to Auntie’s place in time for a vegetarian breakfast (typical Malaysians- always thinking of food) and to watch Nikhil the groom get ready for the Murta. Shamelessly we stalked him as he got ready, heh heh. I can’t quite remember when he was “bathed” in tumeric by his sister and cousins? Was it the nite before? I remember him peeking from the bathroom all wet and yellow! Must have been the nite before- should have kept a journal lah!

Anyway the Murta reminds me very much of our merenjis – as Nikhil sits on the chair , he gets blessed by relatives- except where we would “throw” fragrant cuttings he got a faceful of rice. Or was it just me who threw rice at his face? I also got to put on the red mark on his forehead. Cool! Of course the camera decides to kong at this exact point.

I did go back to the room for a bit after lunch to rest and pray. Crossing the road was fun as we held up our hands to stop the rickshaw drivers and the car drivers. Look them in the eye – that’s the trick. Once at the hostel we had a shower- you need to as its quite dusty out there . Soon we were joined by M and her daughter G and all of us rushed to get ready for the wedding. I basically did not bother to compete with what was absolutely stunning sarees and salwar kameez and what have yous and decided to go with our safe bajukurung.

We arrived at the grounds where the wedding was to be held, following the Groom’s car. There were chairs, lights and buffet stalls circling the area. There were musicians at the background. The groom was greeted "traditionally "by the Bride’s side- (which means I don’t actually know what they did except a lot of beautifully dressed people surrounded him(heh heh)), then he headed to the end of the grounds, to the stage where the priest was already waiting . ( Sounds v much like MY wedding where the kadhi was also kept waiting heh heh) . Bride was nowhere to be seen. Later she arrived in all her finery (and they were fine yessireeee!!)

As I was rudely stepping in front of people taking pictures (sorry Aka and Ana) I heard this loud sound which I thought were the birds getting trapped in the sound system. It was this trumpet which blew periodically throughout the ceremony.

The ceremony lasted about one hour (?) – The parents of both sides were also on the “stage” together with N and her husband- apparently N has to lead the Bride and the husband has to lead the Groom around the fire(small fire only) When the groom ties the “mangal sutera” to the bride (ie a necklace) they then are officially married- awwwwwww..I was told that you do not take off that necklace as long as you are married.

M had a headache so at one point we left to look for paracetamol as well as the loo. At the other side of the loo was a part of the grounds where quite a number of ppl were playing what looked very much like BINGO! Strange , don’t they know that a wedding was going on???

Coming back from the loo Nadine decided that enough was enough, it was time to eat. It was vegetarian buffet - She got her own plate and went to all the stalls – I pinched from her plate, and waited with the others to eat with the bride and groom. Meja pengantin lah basically.

Unlike our wedding, ppl do not eat first and then greet the bride and groom. Here they line up to greet the couple first. Then eat. The bride and groom and their family would stand in a line and be congratulated by the guests. Guests kept on coming ! At long last M and I decided that we should also join the line of well wishers., so we did. Halfway through us going “well done etc” , we got sort of ignored and groom and N started to talk over our heads. There were commotion as the guy behind us was Kunal Kapoor the actor and Suzanne Khan the wife of Mr Roshan.(she is the one in orange saree) Of course I had no idea who these ppl were (except who has not heard of Hritik Roshan??) but I thought I’d take their pics! One idiot stood in the way of one very beautiful frontal pic. Now, I can tell you just who Kunal Kapoor is !
One thing that the Rai and Shetty clan had in common with us and the Adom Clan! is that we all scrambled to get all the flowers off the stage! Orchids, gerberas etc etc ! Nadine went up and got ppl to get her orchids etc - she wore some flowers in her hair the next day. It was so much fun to watch everyone on the holy stage, taking the flowers home. Heehee hee! "Ke-jakun-an" is borderless I guess hee hee!

Sigh…it was all in all a colourful event. Full of joy. We ate a LOT at a table specially for the family. Had so many veg dishes with names I can't remember. Desserts were kulfi, and jelebi - maybe I’ll head to the local Indian restaurants to have it again.

Whew! – ni baru wedding! Penatlah!

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