Continuing Indian Wedding Journal Series, in the style of an unappreciative sob, because they rock so hard my brains land in my drink and I drink them again because they taste so good.
Auntie, Zarren and family live in a three storey home. On the lower level, and upper, and inbetween, close kin. This is the way of most Indian families: nearby to turn to for guidance, support and friendship. Each level could be it's own independent functioning unit, in British terms, “family values”, are played much closer here. Which is kind of the point. I'm sleeping for 3-4 hours to get ready for Big Event #1. Well, not sleeping so much as resting, which my mum says is as good as a sleep. The room I stay in in Auntie's father's house has been held by brothers before departing for MBAs. Now it is Zarren's. The evening event is at Laguna, a venue about an hour away. Waiters pin from four directions. I do a poor job of slipping from their trays. At a bar we do a tequila, though mostly whiskey. Gaurav, our pal from Oxford Brookes is there. Manu's North London accent warms me when he's told I'm from the UK.
I'm screwing in lightbulbs, stubbing out fags.
Chicken satays, fish that look like chicken, mushrooms in garlic. And now the dinner, not joking. Nitin remarks how he watches me trying so many foods, to experience, and respects this. Laguna's inside function room has ten different salads, fifty mains and fifteen desserts. The silver and white sweets are recognisable as those given to Rahul and I by the ladies the morning after the ring ceremony, (along with a nice basket of fruit). These are made out of cashew nuts, milk and cream and come in a number of shapes – orange segment shape, tubular, rectangle, mushroom and diamond.
The Big Laguna
At some point around 1am I'm really fucked. When this happened, veins in my forehead transform into steel wire and tonight they're Harland and Wolff shipbuilders.
The car we are in is rocking from side to side but not just any road to Chandigarh. This is full-on bastard drum n bass. I'm so drunk that I don't even recall that my infatuation for gorgeous Zarren was becoming ridiculously uncomfortable. A firm non-smoker it's her suggestion we stop so I can have a smoke. In an empty commercial car lot, our doors open and the music explodes into the night. Some talk in English and Hindi. “For fucks sake” I say in profound and comical stride.