The meaning of feet | Day 13 of 365 days of stories

September 24, 2010

Feet, Belur, India
Feet, Belur, India

This photo holds a lot of meaning for me personally. This was taken when my husband and I were on our honeymoon in 2007. We had just had our second wedding in Bangalore and were traveling the countryside near by with his cousins.

After a day or two in Bandipur to see the nature preserve, we headed back to Bangalore, stopping in Belur to see the temple. My hands and feet were covered with mehendi, which was a source of amusement to not only me, but most of the Indians as well.

While I was at the temple, walking around barefoot, I stopped to take some pictures of my own feet. I have a penchant for doing this on vacation. While doing so, I noticed one woman trying to catch a glance of what I was doing, a knowing smile on her face. We smiled at each other, and I carried on.

When I came across this image, doused in tumeric and decorated with offerings of flowers, I couldn’t help but think of my own decorated feed, and the role they played in our Indian ceremony (the husband helps the bride take steps with a rock under her foot). A friend purchased this as a wedding present and I couldn’t think of anything more befitting. Every time I look at this, it reminds me of my own wedding, my own vows, my own decorated feet. I hope the lucky newlyweds gathered the gist of that feeling.


Millions of years ago

November 13, 2007

Actually, just a couple of months ago – but the DC reception in September feels like ages ago. When we arrived back from our trip there was a CD in the mail from Martin with more pictures from the DC reception. They’re now added to the DC reception , and since there were some good ones I thought I’d call it out here for those of you who read the blog.

Raju and his high school gang

Me and Angie

Hanging on every word of the PowerPointer Sisters’ “MahaRaju” movie


Greetings from Dubai!

October 19, 2007

The picture above is not mine — our friend Pathy has already posted pictures on Picasa of our wedding in Bangalore and I thought I would share.

Click here for pictures.

Update: A bit of a recap of the wedding from Raju’s cousin, Indu.

Raju & Courtney Wedding:
The Bangalore Finale

You’ve seen the movie, now read the book.

As the pictures show, it was traditional, colourful, solemn in parts, joyous in most, and a splendid time was had by all.
But what the pictures don’t yet show are the befores and the afters
So here’s a verbal picture of that too…

The pre-nuptial excitement set in with a grand lunch-and-mehendi party hosted by Latha and Shankar at Chimes Inn. Ashok and Bhanu, the ‘inn-keepers’ had everything meticulously in place to give us a sparkling welcome. Apart from the Uttar Karnataka fare, there was Latha’s own delicious parsley soup and lasagne, and Shankar’s puliogare bhat that were competing for our compliments.

Then the mehendi lady began her work on the bride’s hands. The visitors were given a quick background of the significance of mehendi: the darker the patterns, the luckier Courtney would get…with her mother in law! And that as long as the designs remained, she would not be expected to do any housework. (Furtive applications of lime juice over the mehendi patterns assured very dark designs…)

Soon Bollywood music was switched on.
And then began the dancing—also known as the seduction of Shankar by the dancing ladies. As Shah Shankarjehan lay about on the takias, red rose in hand, Aishwarya, Madhuri, Hema Malini, and Rekha (names changed to protect their identities) performed several item numbers in the grand Indian film tradition. Then it was mayhem as everyone was lured to take the floor, and dance their way towards Courtney and bless her. Raju did a particularly deft number.

How much we missed Anu and her adorables, Nina and Rhys, the dancing sensations of America…

And then the Wedding!

Even as we were rushing about searching for our mascara and mallipu, a flood of guests arrived very early… (unusually clear Bangalore streets devoid of traffic was the reason!) And then Raju and Courtney made a royal entrance. “Asal bommai attum irruka! Aha…Raja madiri irrukan!” were frequent exclamations. We welcomed the gathering and then Mrs Sharma the Arya Samaj high priestress conducted the hour-long ceremony. Debra (mother of the bride) and Tammy (her sister) were dressed by Leela in grand silks and looked like they’d worn sarees all their lives. Courtney articulated Sanskrit slokas with ease. Raju flashed his devastating grin. And it was a lovely, intimate moment when the entire gathering moved up right around the stage to shower the lovely couple with flowers.

While the official pictures were being taken, some of the guests moved over to the Banquet Hall to see a fun audio visual , earlier played at the Washington reception, showing clear evidence that that this tryst was ordained since the baby days of Raju and Courtney. Then as guests sat down to enjoy lunch, the couple moved around and greeted people at every table.

A truly wonderful day.

And now… we hear there’s shortly going to be a Bollywood version of the earlier Hollywood hit, starring Jennifer Lopez, “The Wedding Planner”. This time of course it will star Bhanu. A rousing applause here!

Krishnamurthy and Leela met up with so many cousins and pals who’d made the effort to be there. There was much catching up, smiles and laughter.

And then a family tradition that began with the time Krishnamurthy and Leela got married over 40 years ago was religiously repeated, at the wedding of their son.

Several relatives accompanied Raju and Courtney on their honeymoon :-).

A bunch of determined cousins, who decided they needed a treat after the hard work at the wedding, merrily joined the couple on a fabulous trip to Bandipur Game Sanctuary. The American visitors were delighted to find that we have animals in our forests too, apart from the ones that roam in our streets.

Fortunately the cousins have stayed back from the rest of their honeymoon plans, and even as you read this, Raju and Courtney are enjoying themselves in Dubai.



And… More Pictures!!

October 1, 2007

We received the pictures from the DC reception and they’re posted in my family pictures within travels.

I’ve also finally gotten around to resizing and adding the wonderful photos Martin took of the rehearsal dinner and that he and Phoenix took at the wedding . Someday, we’ll also get his video on there, but I have a feeling that’ll be after the honeymoon.

Ciao! (practicing my Italian… I think that’s about the breadth of my knowledge)


How Happy Everyone Was (including us)

August 31, 2007

I stumbled upon this photo while combing through some of the formals last night. I’m so glad Tin captured this moment… this is us.

I’m not sure what I expected from the wedding. I think combing through articles on the Knot,, Martha Stewart weddings, etc. had braced me for a bunch of keyed-up assholes to attend my wedding, even though my family (and Raju’s family, now OUR family) are anything but.

So I’m glad it worked out that everyone was so happy and seemed to enjoy themselves both at the rehearsal and at the wedding. And no one took themselves too seriously, including Raju and myself. We had fun, we celebrated, we partied, and everyone pitched in to make sure everything went perfectly… or at least close to perfect.

But I don’t suppose the magazines and wedding blogs make this stuff up. Every vendor we dealt with gushed about how great our family was, how much fun everyone had, including themselves.

So, I guess we’re just really lucky and really blessed. And we know some fun people.