How I unexpectedly crashed a wedding

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So if you have ever been to India, the people there are so generous and always want to feed you! Especially at weddings. This is a memory about how my friends and I planned a trip to explore the Kanheri Caves, but ended up crashing a wedding! It was the weirdest, but most fun experiences I have ever had in India. Felt like we were in some sort of national geographic experience.

hutsThere are these people that live inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali, Mumbai. Their homes were not your ordinary modern houses, but basically built from found objects. Well maybe they paid for random parts, but I highly doubt it. Probably not the wealthiest of people living in Mumbai.
Three friends and myself arrived at the park early morning to explore the caves. It was around March or April and it’s extremely hot and humid in India, so we just wanted to check it out early before the heat got to us. We started making our way towards the caves, walking around and taking photos of baby monkeys when we heard some drumming in the woods.
I asked one of my friends, “what’s that noise?!” and he replied,”the party is over there!”All of us decided to investigate.

We walked by some trees and bushes. Saw some people and asked what the drumming was all about, but they didn’t speak English. They were kind enough to pose for pictures with us though (such tourists haha…). So we just let them know using body language that we were going to just look and leave. I am assuming they didn’t really care because they didn’t stop us, but maybe wondering what the hell were these random foreigners doing there. The drumming got louder and then we were crouching by some bushes to see what was going on. 

People saw us peeking through the bushes and came to talk to us in Hindi/English (Hinglish). Somehow we figured out it was a wedding. All of the sudden a swarm of people at the wedding asked (pretty much begged) for us to stay. They kept telling us food will be ready in “five minutes,” but we were there for about couple hours until they served us food. We weren’t complaining and pretty much had no clue why they really wanted us to stay and feed us. The food was amazing though.

Homemade Indian food is the best! 

India Wedding platterIndia is such a vibrant country full of color

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I enjoyed every minute of the wedding surrounded by beautiful colors. You often hear stories about crashing weddings in India and I felt so lucky to be one of those people who had the opportunity to witness and spend time with people who I would probably never meet again. 

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boy&girlOne of my friends felt bad when she saw the young bride and said, “I would hate for some strangers to be at my wedding!” I shrugged. It was definitely a culture shock because the bride was obviously very young. 
Many marriages in India are still arranged. I heard you can either agree or disagree to get married to the person your parents chose for you, but I wasn’t entirely sure if this girl had much of a choice. The groom looked proud and happy, but the bride didn’t smile even once during the whole ceremony and reception, while everyone ate, cheered and danced. bride and grooIt was difficult for me to even understand what she was going through. Coming from a country where we have a freedom of choice, it was hard to imagine other places that did not. 

After a few hours of fun, it was time for us to leave. We gave them a few thousand rupees as a wedding gift and headed back to our air conditioned hotel. We were wired and talked about what a great time we had, but eventually we went back to our normal lives.
Not really sure why I decided to document this now, but I wanted to share my vivid memory of that day because I didn’t want to forget. The different ways people meet and decide to be united with one another is definitely an interesting one. Weddings bring me back in time to India and I often obsess over what the bride would have looked like if she smiled that day.

Maybe she was really happy and I am just remembering things incorrectly. Whatever the case is, I hope she found her smile and happiness even in a world completely different from mine. 

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♥ My Suggested Places ♥

  • Taj Lands End (Taj hotels are probably the best in India. Loved my stay and their restaurants.)
  • Mount Mary Church
  • Gateway of India
  • Kanheri Caves, Sanjay Gandhi National Park
  • Global Vipassana Pagoda
  • Bandra Fort (can view the Bandra Worli Sea Link)
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Amazing Museum)
  • Leopold Cafe (Was a terror attack in 2008. Kind of interesting to eat knowing its history)

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