Four Weddings and a Final
Posted on April 18, 2004
I went to a wedding yesterday, but it was not my own, and although I am going away it is not on a honeymoon to Barbados. It is in fact the last day of my spring break before I return, without a wife, to England’s Barbadian equivalent, Lancaster, where I will resume my studies, much of my social life, and pick up my final instalment (getting weepy) from the Student Loan Company, only to spend it willy-nilly on beer and the like.
My final semester at Lancaster will be interspersed with alternating exams and weddings, as it is the season for both. Yesterday was my cousin Sunny’s wedding, next weekend is my cousin Rajesh’s registrar service, the weekend after is the proper Indian ceremony and the weekend after that is another cousin, Vicram’s. So you might be wondering what the probability is that three of my cousins are getting married within three weeks of each other, but to recap my explanation from yesterday’s post, ‘cousin’ in our hybrid society is a blanket term encompassing second-relatives, friends of the family or just fellow British Indians in the locale.
Sunny is the latter, and his wedding was a traditional Indian affair, an all day programme at the Sapphire Banquet and Conference Suite in Digbeth, Birmingham, during which the groom arrived on a white horse wearing a veil, the two families exchanged gifts, formally a dowry, and three meals were served while the couple, tied to each other with a literal knot, walked around a fire and were thus wed.
My grandma kept a lookout for a “nice Indian bride” so that I could one day soon tread the fiery path to marriage, while I in fact had an eye, but not for marriage, on the young lady in the pink sari at table number 23. This would have pleased my granny had lady in pink not been Muslim, which in her words, is “worse than marrying a white girl.” So, there you have it. Our short lived, glances-across-the-room relationship ended with a relative statement; no plans for marriage, not even a phone number! I hope I do better in my finals.