Monday, August 23, 2010

Friend of a Friend's Parents' Friend's Son's Wedding Reception

One of the first things that goes with being on the other side of the world is the sense of timidness. This was exactly the case when asked by a coworker over the weekend if I'd like to attend an Indian wedding. Naturally I couldn't turn down the chance at such a legendary adventure.

The day began with our first trip to ThoughtWorks Bangalore II office. We took a shuttle there from the Diamond District office. After exercises in TDD and pair programming and a few sessions in object-oriented programming principles, my colleague Richard and I headed back to the Diamond District via rickshaw. The original plan was that we wouldn't be able to wait for the shuttle bus at 6:15, because we were getting picked up at 7:00.

The shuttle bus dropped off everyone shortly after our rickshaw arrived. The ride was also delayed twice...and ended up arriving about 50 minutes late. We could have definitely saved the Rs. 60, but we won't sweat the $1.50 lost too much. Finally we were on our way as we neared in on 8:00.

Walking up to the reception hall was quite the sight. The view from inside was even more amazing. HDTVs lined the place, and that giant boom near the front of the room held a swinging camera.
Indian Wedding_03

The first thing we did inside was stand in line to greet the couple and pose for a picture. The line was enormous. I didn't think to take a picture of how many people were waiting in line until we neared the front. It still conveys the scene quite well when considering the length of the hall.
Indian Wedding_11

It was getting close to our turn to approach the newlyweds, so I asked the photographer to take a picture with my camera. The answer essentially amounted to "No." Fortunately someone standing behind us was kind enough to make this memory last forever. See if you can spot me. I think I pulled off the technically-uninvited-guest-who-knew-no-one-was-the-only-white-guy-and-had-no-formal-clothes look pretty well.
Indian Wedding Party

After meeting the couple, we moved into the other half of the hall -- the food half of the hall. All types of Indian cuisine stretched as far as the eye could see. It was nicely divided into categories:

  • North Indian
  • South Indian
  • Idli & Dosa
  • Chaat
  • Sweets
  • Fruit
  • Water
We tried just about everything we could. The food was absolutely delicious. If I have one complaint, it's that the sweets here are out of control. I'm a big fan of these hats.
Indian Wedding_17

Of special note, the center of the vegetables table was formed into an alligator.
Indian Wedding_22

Indian weddings typically end with the gift of a coconut, and this was no exception.
Indian Wedding Coconut
After receiving the coconut from a table of girls, something weird happened: It was exactly the kind of stare you'd expect being the only white guy in a reception that felt 2000-people strong. What made it weirder was the fact that it continued after I made eye contact with her.

As one of the more memorable nights of my stay in India comes to an end, I'd like to say I certainly wish for the best to Rupesh and Vinita -- a lovely, hospitable couple who showed us something in India we never thought we'd see.
Indian Wedding_25

Honorable Mentions

  1. I asked a girl staring at me in amazement if she'd like a picture. She responded "NoooOOOOooooOOOO!"
  2. Almost the exact scenario as #1 happened with yet another person.
  3. I asked the person who brought us if it was obvious we were Americans. He just laughed.


  1. a) I'm really glad you got to experience something like this.

    b) Do you only have jeans there? Wth?

  2. Hello! I'm Meera--Richard's girlfriend. He mentioned your blog to me so I've been reading your posts too. You write very well! Glad you had a good time at the wedding.

    Its funny Lindsey, because I asked Richard the exact same question.

  3. @Lindsey:
    Thanks! Me too. Jeans and shorts -- the shorts would have been even less appropriate.

    Thanks for reading! The wedding was definitely unforgettable.