The drive to Patiala was beautiful. I am in love with every blade of grass in this country.
We arrived at Harman Wedding Palace just in time to catch up with some relatives over breakfast -- it was wonderful to see everyone again, and especially since I saw most of them so recently in Gheora last spring and thus could actually recognize them. Even then, it was hard to keep everyone straight!
In the early afternoon, a small entourage made its way to the gurdwara (Sikh temple) next door for the anandkarj, or official marriage ceremony, during which the bride and groom circle the holy book four times.
After this, Ruby Chachu, Dadi, and I slipped away for a bit to visit Dookh Nivaran Sahib, another gurdwara, well known in Patiala. After we had paid our respects and gotten our parshaad, we took some photos near the beautiful sarovar (cleansing pool). It was during this session that a group of girls walked by, and, thinking I certainly would not know Punjabi, whispered “Angrezo!” (“American!”) -- if only they knew. :)
Now back at the wedding, we got in line to give our blessings to the bride and groom and have our photograph taken with them. Nippi thanked me profusely on stage for coming -- I’m so glad I could make it!
Soon afterward, Dadi left for home, and I hung around chatting with my family awhile before a ceremony in which the newlyweds were given milk to drink. Then, it was time for the doli, when the groom takes the bride home to his house, and the girl’s family cries and cries. Punjabi weddings are such an experience.
When we had made the farewell rounds, Anurag Auntie drove Joy Bhua, Nanat&Joslyn (Bhua’s kids), Puneet, and me home to Chandigarh.
In a few hours I was greeted at House no. 1003 by Nani and a delicious dinner spread. With a tummy filled with mixed vegetables, tomato rice, four rotis, and two types of chicken, I climbed into bed wearing four layers of shirts and two pairs of pants. Hoorah for Indian winters!