Friday, September 20, 2013

Tales from India: A most beautiful sangeet.

I love writing my blog, but after reading oodles and oodles of some really well written and well designed travel blogs (The Lazy Travellers!!!) I've decided that I can't really consider what I do to be a travel blog. I wish I could say that it is my heart and soul on paper because it sounds more romantic. However, it's not even paper, so what can I call it? I think it's my heart and soul available for all to see! In this age of over connectivity that is kind of true, isn't it? I'm not going to complain though because it is precisely why I've felt this sudden surge of productivity (procrastination be damned!)
My Instagram account boasts that 'I love food. And travelling. And eating food while travelling', but I realise I've been devoting a bit too much time and space to posting pictures of food, although when is that ever a bad thing? Recently I started posting more of my travel pictures. The response has been overwhelming. Especially when two friends (shout out to TK and Nisha for giving my self-confidence a major boost!) came out of the woodwork to tell me that they've been reading my blog and that I need to continue it. (Just as an aside, I only procrastinate when it comes to fun activities for myself. Work and school never suffer. Only the things that give me personal satisfaction suffer for some odd reason. (::hint hint:: to any potential employers who might be reading this.))
So where was I? Ahh, yes. I left off after my trip to Agra to see the most magnificent Taj Mahal. Seriously, go see it! Heck, go to India only to see it.
That brings us to Friday. Friday night was the sangeet. If you don't know what a sangeet is feel free to check out my first blog post on India. Friday morning into early afternoon was S's mehndi session. I hired a taxi, gave him her address and was off. S, if you're reading these posts, I have to say that your family is just the loveliest. You know I already adore your mom and dad and your extended family is just as wonderful.
We spent the afternoon getting our mehndi done, oohing and ahhing at each other's mehndi designs, me wondering how S was going to go to the bathroom, singing songs (the others, not me) and trying to understand what people were saying (me, since I don't speak Hindi, le duh.) I had both the palms and back of my left hand designed, but I left the right one unadorned because once you've got mehndi on you can't touch anything (wet, dry or otherwise) until it dries and is hard enough to flake off. This way the henna has soaked into your skin deep enough to stain it. Ta daaaa....mehndi! When S left to go to the salon I went back home to Sunita's and then we went back to Lajput Nagar to pick up my sari's and get any other odds and ends I deemed necessary. Let's just say it's a good thing I put myself on a budget because I could have easily gone crazy. The shopaholic in me is always begging to be free.
The rest of day went off without a hitch until it came time to go to the sangeet. It was held at a place called The Panchshila Rendezvous. Sunita lent me the services of her driver (yep, I'm fancy!) for the evening, which was awesome. I gave him the address and he said, "hmmmm, I think I know where this is." So off we went. Place number 1 was not correct. It was a gym. Place number 2 was not correct. It was a parking lot. With no buildings in sight. However, as they say, the third time is the charm. I arrived about an hour late (or on time if you take into account IST, Indian Standard Time.) S and V hadn't arrived so I sought out A, S's only other friend from the States at the wedding. A was doing a semester abroad in India at the time for his MBA program so we quickly found each other and were like "gaaaah, another American! Whew." I'm all for travelling, discovering new cultures and of course new foods and meeting new people, but sometimes, just sometimes, a small taste of home can make you feel at ease, even if it's in the form of a stranger you've just met. Amit and I quickly bonded and hit up all the food servers passing out hors d'oeuvres. Those poor servers never saw us coming. I had such an amazing time. S's mom danced in honor of her only daughter and S sang a very moving and beautiful love song for V. I danced until my feet hurt, ate until I thought I was going to give birth to my food baby, Sebastian, and laughed until I thought my cheeks would crack. I know that I had a very idealised vision in my head of what a wedding in India was going to be like, but honestly it was like being with family back home. There weren't many difference. This further serves my theory that all people are alike. As long as the basic beliefs about taking care of family and having food and shelter to keep them warm and safe are there, who cares about how you do it. Also, no one there realised that I wasn't of direct Indian descent unless I mentioned it so if anyone calls me a fake Indian again I'll punch them in the babymaker.

As usual, I'd rather express myself through pictures, but sometimes words are necessary. Thanks for suffering through the words!

S's mehndi


Me and S. It is terribly hot in India. How anyone manages to look polished is beyond me.

This is where we 'oooohed and ahhhhed.'

My mehndi in its unhardened state.

General merrymaking

Now are you saying you wouldn't hit that?

Left to right: A, V, S and moi

S's awesome and most welcoming family.
S's song

Aunty S getting her groove on.

This picture epitomizes the happy slightly wacky couple.

Action shot!

Shhhhh, because I almost stole her away.

My mehndi the day after.


  1. I love your blog. Please continue to write. Even your life now in the states :)
    Lovely pictures and love everything about Vietnam "Unwritten"


  2. Thank you dearest! Your comments gave me a great boost of confidence and I'll try my best to maintain it at a steady pace.