February 9th– 11th, 2017-Hyderabad, India
After landing in Hyderabad, I felt the heat in the air more than in Mumbai. It felt really great since Canada was so cold at that time of year and I was enjoying the high temperatures very much 😀
Karthik and I caught a cab that was pre-arranged by our friend Pratyusha who was getting married very soon. I think Pratyusha is the most organized bride I’ve ever known and seen!! We had time to go to the hotel and meet our other blogging friends and when I saw them I was so excited and gave them all the biggest hugs! I hadn’t seen Darshith since last year and this time I met KP, Rupali, and Rafat which was so amazing, I felt like I knew them forever 🙂 It’s always fun to meet people in person and feel their energy that you already connect with through their writing.
We all arrived at the ceremony which was taking place all day and night. One of Pratyusha’s friends asked if the girls wanted to do a ritual with them called Mangal Sanam which involves pouring water over the bride’s head as a symbol to wash away any bad omens and everyone gives good wishes and blessings. It was the first time I was doing this and also the first time I was meeting Pratyusha! It was such a nice moment and I couldn’t believe all the beautiful and colors everywhere, not to mention the gorgeous outfits all the women were wearing! I met Pratyusha’s family who are so warm and welcoming, they made me feel like family immediately.
We all sat down for lunch and I was impressed yet again with the presentation of food. There was a banana leaf instead of a plate and on it was vegetarian food served by many people. Not only was it interesting to look at but it was so delicious too.
We all left to go back to the hotel again and change into our next outfit. It is customary for people to perform a song or dance for the bride and groom if they wish and since I was the only foreigner at the wedding, I decided to do this! I did a salsa dance to the song Bailando by Enrique Iglesias and faced my fear of being in front of a crowd! It’s easier to do something like this in a room full of people you don’t know that much! A very big thanks to Darshith for filming it 😉 one day I’ll be brave enough to post it..Haha 😛
After the 24 performances by people of all ages, it was time for everyone to get really dressed up for the big wedding ceremony which was happening at 1:49 am on Feb 10th. Pratyusha and her family arranged to have a saree ready for me to change into and off I went to get wrapped in this beautiful outfit for the first time in my life. Pratyusha’s make-up lady was so good at folding and wrapping it around me and after I was all dressed, I went outside the room to find the wedding photographers waiting for Pratyusha. Since she was still getting ready, they asked me to do some photos while they waited which was really nice and fun! Thanks to Muninder for the impromptu photo shoot 😀
It was such an amazing moment to feel so part of something and look so different. Everyone was extremely kind with me and I had many pictures taken again with my friends and Pratyusha’s family there. The real star of the show, though, was Pratyusha in all of her outfits and she looked absolutely gorgeous, this is one of my favorite pictures of her! The next picture is of the bride and groom looking amazing, it was really interesting to see the wedding ceremony at that time of night and all the rituals that happened afterward until about 6 a.m. The supper was to die for and I loved everything about it ❤
My friends and I slept at the hotel for a few hours and then woke up to check out. We all went our own ways at that point but I knew I would be seeing some of them again soon. I was so tired I ended up sleeping the entire day away, which I never do! By night I was feeling better but was also really hungry and when in Hyderabad, you have to try the famous Hyderabad Biriyani which is exactly what I did with Pratyusha’s brother Praveen 🙂 We went to the famous Bawarchi for supper and it was so good to eat this food and get to know Praveen outside of the wedding. The only thing missing was a picture, I think both of us were so tired, we forgot to take one, but I guess that just means I’ll have to come back again and visit! Everything was arranged by Pratyusha’s family to take care of me and they did it so well. Many thanks to everyone for all your care, generosity, and help, I really appreciate everything you did for me, I had the time of my life ❤
Despite sleeping all day, I was able to sleep at night which was good because I had to leave by 3 a.m. to catch my next flight to Pune and visit my other blogging friend and master chef Neerja. We met last year and she insisted I visit again for a fun weekend of cooking and eating at her place 😀
To Be Continued…
Much Love ❤