5/14/13

day by day india: fashion forward blessings


The traffic patterns in Bangalore mesmerize me. The amalgamation of vehicles is like the Palio, the running of the bulls, i motorini of Rome and the taxis of New York all rolled into one.  The people walking in between the cars and rickshaws, the dogs--so many strays--taking on human mannerisms as they too weave their way through the mayhem. I felt braver today and it was a little less stressful crossing the streets as I made my way down Primrose to Magrath to Brigade (the main shopping area) to Church street, taking photos along the route. There is so much color and life in every nook and cranny of every street. As I strolled down Church street one of the local drivers fell into step beside me and aggressively attempted to sell me a (1) hour tour for 30 rps ($.50)--even direct No's and No Thank You's didn't deter him. Later on in the morning I turned the street corner and there he was again smiling, as if karma had brought us together for that rickshaw tour. I crossed the street.

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Two days in the jet lag still lingers. I took an ambien before bed last night assuming I would get at least an 8 - 10 hour respite of zzz's but I woke up at 6am raring to go. I crashed after my morning walk and had the craziest dreams. I attribute that to the heat, which is very different than what I'm used to. Every time you are outside walking it's as if your body goes through a detoxification, you don't realize of course until you return to your residence soaked from the sweat.

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Addu picks Venus and I up at 3pm for a shopping expedition to FabIndia and then Commerical street.  We each pick up blouses, saree accessories, chuppas and I begin an ardent search for the dhotti harem pants. Molly my yoga instructor wears them to class and they look so comfortable, in prep for the trip I searched the selections on Etsy, where a pair ran anywhere from $6 - $50 depending on the style and color. At the local shop on Commercial street they sell for 175 rps, or the equivalent of $3 each. Looks like everyone may get a pair as a souvenir.

Next stop Muniswarmy Tailors at 75 Dispensary Road, just off Commercial street where we've hired a local tailor to peephole stitch our saree hems and make blouses--mustard for me; light blue for Venus.

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While we're out I'm assigned a roommate, Tanvi is a friend of the bride's. They met at college and she is from Delhi. I ask if she'll be attending the blessing ceremony but she opts out to rest from all her travels. I shower and dress before meeting Venus and Addu in the lobby.

We arrive at the Grand Magrath hotel, and are introduced to Addu and Dinky's family members, as well as those of the bridegroom. The ceremony takes place in large room of a reception hall, a slightly elevated stage stands front and center. Divyanka is wearing a red/pink and gold saree and sits in the center of the stage. The groom's family brings out a large silver tray, placing a variety of offerings upon it: an urn of sandalwood paste, censers filled with rosewater and coconut oil, bowls of fruit and sweet meat and garlands of jasmine. Next the married female members of both sides take turns administering each of the elements onto Dinky's person. The sandalwood paste on her face, censers douse her head and body, they each feed her fruit and/or the sweetmeat and then offer flowers for her hair and hands.

After the ceremony there is a buffet dinner of Mangalorean and Bangalorean cuisine and dancing until midnight.
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