Saturday, May 23, 2009

The bride from Mumbai

We were invited to a wedding in India in the middle of May. The wedding was held in the city of Mumbai on the western coast. Our flight was direct from Kuwait and was only four hours.

The roads were crowded...

and not well maintained.

Mumbai could definitely use some infrastructure upgrades. However, the roads seemed adequate for the auto rickshaws.

India is full of contrasts. Everywhere you look there are new modern buildings surrounded by slums. In the US, gentrification occurs where new construction replaces old and this continues to radiate outward. In India, there is always a mix of new and old.

Here is the Hindu wedding.
Northern Indian weddings have lots of dancing and lots of color. South Indian weddings, like this one is more subdued. The ceremony was still nice, but it was intricate and very long.

Here the bride sits on her father's lap as a plate of flowers is offered.

Here good wishes are bestowed upon a plate of flowers.

Here the groom is about to catch rice and flowers that well wishers throw to him.

This swing was part of the ceremony. The bride and groom would swing on it for a time.

The hall provided a book that explained the ceremony in English. That was good as we would have been lost without it. However, some of the ceremonies were explained by relatives of the couple.

Can you spot us in the picture?

Here the groom tries to put a wreath of flowers around the bride as she sits on the shoulders of her relatives.

Before the ceremony we had a traditional breakfast on banana leaves. It was good, but the kids were not used to eating things so spicy so early in the morning.

People warned us about food quality in India. I did not want the kids to get sick, so I stayed in a nice hotel. I paid more, but it was nice and we had no issues. Here is the view out the window overlooking the arabian sea.

Here is the kid pool.

Pool with Nyssa.

Pool with boys.
There are not any more photos. We were in the car going to the wedding so we did not get many shots of Mumbai itself. There was not much to see in Mumbai. I would ask the hotel staff and there was not a consensus of a must see sight. I knew of the gateway to India, which is a building at the end of the penninsula, but no one mentioned it. The traffic was horrible, and we were only there for the weekend, so we did not have a lot of time.
The big sights of India lie in Agra, Jaipur and Delhi. We will see those someday.