In setting the record straight at the onset of this story, technically I did not crash this Indian wedding held in Chennai. But I did ask if I could attend. A friend of mine who was attending as the bride was one of her best childhood friends, asked the father of the bride and the bride herself if I could attend, and they agreed. That said, in borrowing the title of the film Wedding Crashers, it kinda made sense to call this story that, being all tongue in cheek and all!
The wedding itself was as cultural for a foreigner as imagined, as that is how I’ve been referred to since arriving in India. And yes, I am a foreigner, could even be a title for a book! Fine, I’ll accept whatever….Filled with pomp, circumstance, rituals, photo taking which went deep into the evening, and then it was time to say goodbye. The women were very colorfully dressed, the men looked more western clothed than I was! Some women, and especially the bride placed the wedding mehndi on their hands.
What I found kind of odd, that while the actual ceremony and all those rituals and prayers were going on, upstairs was where the massive display of food was, and that was where most of the people were. What about witnessing the ceremony, I wondered? Apparently, for most people who attend other than family and the closest of friends, it is all about the food.
I asked a couple people if this is how all weddings go and mostly they said yes. One guy even confided in me, and said there are three wedding venues in his town and he attends them all regularly, for the free food. He was the real Indian wedding crasher!