During my trip to India and Nepal on May 2011 ago, this one might be the most unexpected and precious experience one could hope for. I with some of new friends met at our hotel crashed on of Indian wedding!! I never crash a wedding in Indonesia, let alone, ate the foods, congratulated the bride and groom and had opportunity to be taken the picture together with the couples.
A little background of the story, I'll tell you cause its also worth to tell. We were in Jaipur, I booked the hotel earlier from hostelworld based on recommendation from a friend who seems very pleased with the hotel. When I found we can book in hostelword and the price is good, without more consideration, I booked the hotel. It turned out that the location of this hotel is not great, It's located about 30-40 minutes from city center and was not that easy to be found (not in the main road). At first we insisted to go to this hotel and finally we're give up when our driver asked several people with no result and it's been 40 mins since we departed from city center. So, we decided to go back to the hotel which we seen before in the city center and took another 30 mins back. We felt really bad to our driver, but, what can I do. When I confrmed to my friend who recommend that hotel, he admitted that the location wasn't so great, so its a fair mistake because we did not check the location before. I always checked the location but this one because my friend are so pleased I didn't checked. So, moral of the story: ALWAYS check everything!!
When we arrived at the new hotel, around 9.30 pm I noticed there is a wedding celebration nearby (accross my hotel), I was so excited and secretly wished to be able to come to that wedding, I mean, when will I ever attend Indian wedding again in my life? It's a rare opportunity. Our check in process wasn't go that smooth though, there was a problem about the reception guy give different price with the one they offered to us in the afternoon before. We met several other guest at the lobby, there are 2 Malaysian boys (they're brothers), Jimmy and Jeremy, and one Brazilian girl, Daniele. As what fellow travelers do, we chat a little, sharing some experiences, Daniele then asked us if we want to have some dinner as she probably doesn't have friend for dinner, I said yes as we're also haven't had our dinner. It turned Dian and Mbak Nila (my travel companion) didn't have the will and energy to go to dinner, but since I promised to Daniele, I was still going, and to be honest I was kind of starving too. I mean, it was 10.30 pm.
It turned out that those malaysian brothers also would like to join us, so we planned to find some restaurant which hopefully still open at that hour. I didn't expect the wedding accross our hotel still on because it's kind of late, I thought it probably will end up soon. But, anyhow, we managed to take a look a bit to the wedding, take a bit of pictures, then go to dinner. When we were there I was surprised to know that the wedding is not started yet, the bride and groom even haven't enter yet. After had a chat with some of the guest, which suprisingly very nice (they like to chat, asked where we're coming from, asked to take a picture, etc) we meet a man who seems to be the family of the couple, then he invited us to the wedding. Wohooooo, couldn't said no for such an invitation, right, and besides, I was kind of starving, oops, I said that sentence before, didn't I?
This man was sooooo kind to us, he bring us to the hall (it was outdoor wedding), and take us to several food stalls and even bring us the food, I am not a fan of Indian food especially with those funny smells (sorry if there're Indian who read this, its just me, really, no offense) but somehow I can say the food at that wedding are delicious, I ate some food which looked like a "perkedel" (gnocchi per Italiano, forse?) whith some sauce which doesn't looked tasty, but it is!! There are other food like naan, and other funny looking food which I didn't know the name. Finally they give us one table and put all the food there, they also bring ice cream, lassi (yogurt), water, cookies, etc. My favorite for cookies is the almond one which tastes really good. One man even force me to eat that almond cookies by put it in my mouth!! Crazy and totally unexpected! Thank God it tasted good, because if it doesn't I would be in a real trouble as I'm not good at lying (especially my face) to say something delicious while in fact it doesn't. I would totally busted.
So, we were full with the food. One thing I notice, the people are sooooooooooooooooo nice, super nice, I dont know whether because its Jaipur or because its the wedding people get very nice, because based on my experience days before, Indian people are not the nicest people in the world. But this time different, as I said before they like to chat, they curious to know about things in our country, some kids are very courageous to talk to us maybe they want to practice their english and their english is also good actually. Some of them also want to take a picture with us or want us to take their picture (which I don't really get the point as we didn't exchange email or facebook with them so how can they see their pictures, but, whatever).
At about 11 pm the groom enter the venue and the bride came about 11.30 pm. I know from a guest that the party will last until 4 am in the morning. Wowww, it was even a school night. So, after the bride and groom there there is some ceremony where their friends were dancing, and there was a man who announce something and friend and families throwing confetti to them. The ceremony I've been wanting to see is the one where the married couple take a turn round the fire burning, but they said that one will start at 1 am. Too bad I have to start early tomorrow so I must skip it.
After all those surprises, we finally get the weirdest of all, one woman who seems to be the sister of the groom asked us to congrartulate the coulpe and take a picture together with them. We were reluctant at first because, well for one, we dont know who they are and they dont know us (we dont even know their name until now) but because she insisted so we agreed to do so and of course its one hell of an opportunity and experience I wouldn't wanna miss. Huehehehe, I am totally can brag about this, look at what I am doing now. Ahahaha. One thing I notice about the couple, they didn't look happy at all, especially the bride, she look sad and upset, just look at the pictures. I feel so terrible, I mean, wedding supposed to be the happiest day of your life, even more in India, the girl has to pay the dowry and fund the party, its so sad and disturbing for me that it was without a doubt an "arranged marriage" which until now still common in the smaller cities. There are 2 kind of marriage in india, the one with the relationship and where each couple decided themself its a "love marriage" while those without a relationship before and usually decided by the family are "arranged marriage". I cant say which one is better, because some of the arranged marriage can be proved longlasting and the couple can learn to love each other along the way. Prikitiiiwwww. Okay, enough about this.
The "sad" couple
Back to that one night to remember, after we congratulate the couples and took picture together we finally decided to go home. It was 12.30 am, we went home with a full belly, smile in our faces, and one hell of a story to tell. Despite the arranged marriage thing, it was still nice. I wish the couple will have a happy marriage ahead, find love and always care for each other, sincerely :)