Monday, July 04, 2005

Wedding house

All me life, ever since I know me, I want to go to a certain kind o’ 'wedding house'. I does pass them on the east coast, house shine up, dress up. Bunches o’ balloons bouncing in the breeze, streamers and paper bells waving. Bollywood music belting out into the village. All them neigbours does get invite.

People sitting, waiting...

What they waiting for?

The bhariat, that is what they waiting for, they waiting for the wedding party to come back from the bride house.

The groom does go to the bride house to marry, he and he father and other people does go in a long line o’ cars. And when the bride and the groom done married, they does return to the groom house, car horns blaring, look we coming, heh hayyyy!!!

Well, I been to Muslim wedding here, but is nothing like what does take place in the middle east with singing, and women making that ulu ulu ulu sound with they tongue.

Been to Christian wedding here, church, vows, reception, speeches stretching from here to China and back, you behind getting corned; you eat, then you dance. Everything plan out, tidy.

I been to Hindu wedding at bride home, watch she and groom tie the knot, literally, the pandit tie she sari to the groom gown, they walk slow, slow ‘round the fire, and the ceremony go on and on and on.

But I never been to the wedding house o’ the Hindu groom.

Finally! Yesterday I been!

Been to the wedding house o’ we car mechanic, [best car mechanic in the world, man in he forties], he son R get married.

When we get there, we hear the wedding house before we see it.

Bollywood music coming at you from sky, earth, trees.

The house is typical architecture, it high, high. High up on 15 feet tall concrete posts, like most houses here. Under the house is wide open space, you can park car, you can have parties. Normally, cars does park up there, waiting for repairs.

But If you see Mr. Singh house yesterday!

It beaming with a brand new coat o’ white paint and sky blue trimmings.

We walk in, me and me mother. Pure empty white plastic chairs there, no other guests come. Only the dee jay there, and some other guys, and the scruffy villager who greet we. He bend like he bowing low, and he sweep he hands them in a wide circle, laughing, playing.

Then a short, stout lady greet we. She ain’t dress yet. She busy Supervising Things. [At family functions you does always got to have a ‘auntie’ who Supervising Things.]

She send we upstairs to deliver we gift.

The groom mother ain’t dress yet.

“The bhariat just leave,” she say. “They gon come back 3 o’ clock.”

Was just one o’ clock.

We go back downstairs, sit on white plastic chairs, watch 3 gyals decorate the table where the wedding cake gon be. They ain’t dress yet. Jeans, tee shirt, curlers. When they gon dress, I wonder. One o’ them stick gold ribbon bows on to the wall behind the table.

That wall is a wedding by itself.

It got a mural. Red and blue swirly words, Congratulations R and P. Big, bubbly red heart. Two white birds on swings. Boy bird with blue cap, girl bird wearing pink headscarf tie up under she chin. He holding a red ribbon at one end with he beak, she grab the other end. Ayiee. Romance!

A oldish auntie in a cotton dress [she ain’t dress yet] ask we if we hungry. No, we ain’t hungry. Five minutes later another lady [she ain’t dress yet] ask we if we hungry. No, not yet. She serve we drinks. Flavorade.

Food cooking in the back yard, in a section-off place, away from the blue and white swing; away from the blue and white bird bath with the white woman statue, she sporting only a blue ribbon paint ‘round she. A blue fence separate the food cooking section.

Rice, curry, dhal bubbling in iron pans so big and wide you can bathe 3 babies in them one time. Men stirring food with paddle, fire blazing, smoke puffing up smelling o’ curry. Them 'stoves' make from iron rims o’ truck wheels, turned down. Every now and then when the fire under them rims stretch out he long red tongue too hot and too high, them men sprinkle water to calm it.

Two women guests trall in, plonk theyself down near to we.

I went upstairs to put we empty glasses in the kitchen sink. The groom mother say, “Them girls decorating the bridal room, you want to see?”

Of course I want to see.

Red and white streamers swinging from the ceiling around the bed, them gyals giggling and the mother can’t stop smiling. [I think she in she forties].

Them gyals go downstairs, sit at tables and start to eat lunch.

Two oldish aunties [still not dressed] come over to we. “You all no gon eat? Come eat, nah.” We went to eat.

Wash you hands first. One o’ them aunties pour water from a jug, we wash hands, and the water fall in a basin that the auntie holding too.

Water lily leaves big like platters was we plates. One lady bring rice. Somebody bring pumpkin. Bhagee [something like spinach]. Spicey mangoes. A cabbagey veggie name katahar, curried potatoes with channa. People eating with they fingers, I grab two spoons for me and me mother.

Four young fellas traipse in, wearing tee shirt, shirt over that, all them buttons open; jeans, track boots. More food come out.

A father feed he li’l son, quiet father, gentle, he pick up the food with he fingers, blow on the food to cool it then he put it to he son mouth. Just like how we mammy used to feed we when we was li’l.

[The boy seven years old, he mother tell me later. The mother dress up with a maroon velvety dress, side slits all the way up.]

Li’l bit, li’l bit, people trall in. Mother, child, man, youth, them ladies doll up, long dress, beaded; them fellas bopping in, casual in jeans and shirt.

Bollywood song pumping, mere dil tum something ho sanaam, mere dil something something.

A group o’ sexy town gyals enter, mid to late -20's, early 30's, you know is town gyals from the swing o’ they hair, chiffon strap dresses, they face saying they conscious o’ they self. Men craning they neck to watch them. They sit down. They get up. They discuss. They leave.

People sitting around, enjoying the music. Waiting.


All of a sudden.

Like a spite the sky in the east get black. This blackness creep up, creep up, it sneak up and park heself right over the village. Then the darkness buss way, buss way and let loose one skyload o’ rain, thunder, lightening.

Under the house start to flood, up to ankle in some parts.


Dee jay stop he music. He and them other fellas disconnect electrical wires.


You think that stop the gladness?

Nothing, me friend, nothing does stop wedding house, I discover yesterday.

When people feeling joy, nothing, No Thing, not rain, or thunder or lightening, not one thing can cut off the music in them, I discover yesterday.


Icylyrics said...

What a beautiful concept. When the music is in your heart, nothing can stop your joy. The ceremony sounded absolutely beautiful.

Paulo said...

Hey GG. Do you live many near Muslim mosques and Hindu Temples.
Do you know if anyone can attend these places or are they reserved.
Well, I am still writing my Research Project Text. And no, nothing from CN Sharma so far.

Paulo said...

I meant near many....

Anoop said...

Ahhh the fun of attending a Hindu marriage. Traditionally it spreads over 10 days but now its only 5 days. The whole family including the relatives get together, playing cards, dancing, loud music. The only thing I dont like about any function including a marriage is food. Too oily. But love everything and anything else about a Hindu marriage.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Icy, these folks were unstoppable, rain or no rain. I still have more to tell.

For this wedding, I only went to the groom's home, waiting for the groom and his father and others to return with the bride.

Paulo, temples and mosques are always somewhere nearby! I think because of thieves, you need to ask someone to let you in now. But before you enter, remember to remove your shoes at the door.

Sometime tomorrow, I will try to phone C N Sharma's tv station for you.

Anoop, I know what you mean about oily food. East Indians tend to cook too oily. But the family thing, man, the family thing, and friends, can't beat that.

I think this wedding's celebrations went on for 5 days, up to yesterday.

Anoop said...

I just clicked on the "next blog" link from your blog. Not many men would complain going there ;)

Anoop said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
piu piu said...

my boyfriend is indian- half hindu half sikh. We visited his hindu relatives in Mauritius at Xmas and it was so much fun! amazing food! amazing people! we went to the temples near a big lake whilst his relatives prayed- so beautiful.

I have a blog now guyana gyal-come visit

piu piu x

Hayden said...

Wow, I can see it in my head. Thanks for sharing it - sounds amazing and joyful and wonderful.

I went to a friends wedding who is Chinese Buddist. First there was a major western-style Christian church wedding and she wore a gorgeous, elaborate wedding gown etc. In the attached community hall they had a reception with the usual bad american wedding food and a big fairy tale cake.

Everyone went home and changed, and then the main reception was at a local Chinese restaurant. Seven traditional courses of food - tables were preassigned and set for 6 or 8, each with a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white, and a bottle of expensive cognac.

Speeches happened periodically - this was the traditional wedding - formal introductions of the couple to each family (although they knew each other already) members of each family making pledges to support the new couple. Important family members who were in China and couldn't attend had a proxy making speeches on their behalf. The bride changed clothes three times, each dress more elaborate and gorgeous than the next, the final one was a long red satin gown. Amazing!

GG - your sounds like it was a lot more fun!

DCveR said...

Here in Portugal people say it's a good luck sign, when it rains at weddings.

Ale said...

waw, i think i felt soaked in the rain as i read your post-- very vivid-

just one comment... when the good ladies were asking you if you were hungry- next time say yes- and put the food in your purse for later! :) hehe

more more!!!

kungfu mama said...

you ever hear de story how Dino went to wedding wid me, Seattle cuz, and Analis M? de wedding was across de road from Nanee house, was Terry an S.cuz end up dressing de bride..doan ask me how dat happen, i guess all dem days up dey at Novar, you can get close to ask Dino if he eat, how de curries tase gooood, he seh, man, me had 14 curry...huh? whe he get dat from? den i ketch meself..he eat two times an all de curries dem twice....

gyal, me know wha ya tak bout, dem kina wedding is pure joy...dat is weddin..yuh mus hav conflusion... mah wait fuh go wan nadda wedding....

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hey, Anoop, I saw the deleted comment yesterday, got the joke / the irony and laughed. Still grinning. Just been too busy yesterday to say anything.

Piu, Mauritius? Oooh, I’ve heard that place is bliss. Who? Me? Envy you for going there? Only a lot! I hope all goes well with you and yours.

Hayden, it’s the speeeeeeeeeeeches I can’t stand, the speeeeeeeches. That wedding you went to sounds glorious. Apart from the speeeeeeeeeches.

Maybe some might think the one I went to as boring, I just thought it was absolute fun.

Yeah, Dcver, I’ve heard the Greeks say this too, that rain at wedding is blessings. I think it’s a positive way of looking at things, rather than weep and wail, boo hoo, it is raining on my wedding day.

Y’know Ale, greedy guts me did think of packing up some food. You won’t believe it, but if we had asked for some to take away…nooooo problem. Food flows at these affairs.

Kungfu mama, thanks for that memory. I forgot to tell everyone that at these weddings 7 curries are served.

So the story goes, that at one wedding, my dear ol’ cha-cha, my father’s brother, announced that he had 14 curries. Because he ate twice.