It seems to be the wedding season. We just returned from attending my cousin’s wedding in India and went straight into an Indian wedding in New York. Now off to another Indian wedding this coming weekend. We may have a couple before the end of the year. It’s one of those seasons when everybody is getting married.

A snapshot of South Indian Wedding

Adam and I had a traditional Indian wedding – four days, extravagant from our usual weddings. All our friends from London and other places were there. My close friends and family surrounded us for almost a week – what a treat! We have been married for more than a decade now, and people still talk about it. My friends still mention the food, dress – how they felt like they were a part of the family. At every family wedding, people talk about my marriage.

And after attending a recent wedding, I realized that weddings are not only a place to celebrate the union of two humans coming together but also to make memories. This time around was full-on family time – all my cousins are married, so we have their better halves, the kids. We had so much fun just being cooped up in the car and shunted from one place to another. And all my nieces and nephews are ABCDs which translates into foreign-born confused desis. Watching India from their perspective was both funny and nostalgic. It’s funny because they notice things that don’t even cross our minds, like my nephew’s comments: ‘ There are so many crows’ and ‘Why are there so many people?’. My nieces were fascinated by the horns – anytime a car, truck or an ambulance went honking by, we would have our little nieces turn on their horns in the car. Even my husband, who one of my cousins classified as an ABCD (goes to show how much Indian he is), got to experience the heat. If that is even possible, he was literally melting, but what’s the point of being married to an Indian and not experiencing the ‘real Indian summer.’

A photo of a typical Indian Extended Family

More than the Indian experience, it’s the spontaneous events that turn into memory – like we had a monkey scare when one of my nieces decided it was safer to wake up her dad, as her mom and I turned out to be useless. My cousin ordered hot clear chicken soup, and right after one bite, her comment was, ‘this tastes like hot water’, and we are still having fun about that. And if nothing else, just suffering in the heat together brought us closer. I told my dad – that this is the best part, but you really cannot plan it. It just happens and leaves an imprint in your mind like a mental screensaver that you can go back to again and again.

Indian weddings have a very inclusive vibe. When my cousin’s wedding was fixed, the chatter on the WhatsApp group was about clothes, flights, and vacation until somebody said, ‘Should we congratulate the groom?’ There were perfunctory greetings, and we went back to our wedding planning. Weddings are a community event which starts because of the bride and groom but take a life of their own soon after.

This blog is me expressing gratitude for my family and friends with whom I continue to create memories.

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