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.


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