AsiaIndiaGoa

The real India?

Goa Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
Pre-wedding preparations
Goa is a funny place. It's obviously part of India, but it's been separate from the rest for so long it's developed in a slightly different way. Goa's a bit of a charter holiday haven, full of expensive western-style resorts so a lot of people tend to look slightly down on it. Going to, say, Rajasthan is "doing" India, going to Goa is not. Nonsense really, travelling in Goa is just as much going to India as going to any other part of the country. Some sort of Benidorm-in-India it is not.
Anyway, our one cause for being in Goa was Nalini and John's weddings - an Indian version, and a Catholic version. We were staying at a slightly run-down resort, but since it was hosting the Indian wedding it was a perfect location. A bit out of the way - there wasn't really much in walking distance except the ocean but to be honest that was enough.
Henna painting in process...
One of the really good ways to know if you like a place is being able to relax in it, and there's not a lot of better things to do on this planet than sipping a cool drink with a group of friends while sitting on the beach at the edge of the Arabian sea watching the sun set.
We just unwound for a couple of days, soaking up some sun and doing basically nothing. This wasn't our standard trip, and we felt a little odd and at a loose end occasionally, but mostly we enjoyed being somewhere were there was just no pressure to go anywhere, or do anything. The attraction was all around us, and we didn't need to go anywhere to enjoy it.
The day of wedding was unsurprisingly clear and hot. Festivities kicked off late morning with a family gathering of the brides family and friends.
...and complete
Piles of food were presented, songs were sung and there were a couple of henna artists providing a bit of tradition for us western types. Helping in this regard as well was that most of the Indian ladies attending and kindly thought to bring a spare sari or too, so everyone was able to look the part. Sari's really are a beautiful way to dress, and according to Ness, super comfortable too - don't need to worry about all the flabby bits as it's all neatly covered away.
Unusually in the western tradition, it was the grooms entrance to the wedding that was most spectacular as he arrived on a fully decorated and painted elephant. Indian weddings involve a lot of flowers, and apparently go on, when done properly, for some time. The idea is that the guests mingle around while the ceremony goes on, sitting and watching the whole thing is not the done thing.
Dressed for the wedding
Nal and John had a shortened ceremony, which went for around half an hour, and we were soon celebrating with the newly half-wed couple. It was a slightly difficult situation, most people were wondering if they considered themselves married or not at this point, given they had another ceremony to go.
However, the meal, featuring traditional Kashmiri food - the bride's father is from Kashmir, so despite being in Goa, we were eating Kashmiri - was brilliant, and there was some traditional Goan dancing, fire swallowing and the like.
Day two of the wedding was as clear and warm as the first, again not really surprising anyone. It was to be a sunset wedding, facing out over the beach as the sun set on the horizon.
Now that's an entrance!
It was definately a magical setting. As a wedding, it made a little more sense to us in terms of style, but the inclusion of the extraordinary - and possibly drunk - Indian catholic priest set it just that bit apart. A sense of humour this guy definately had.
The second wedding, like the first, went off without a hitch, and as the sun sunk below the horizon, they were completely married. Pretty special stuff.
Sadly, that was about it for the holiday part of the trip. Ness got a bit of the old Delhi belly the next day and spent the day lying around feeling pretty miserable. The day after we were off back to Mumbai, for about a day before flying out to London. Ness, though still feeling pretty awful, managed to drag herself out to a nearby spice farm which was really interesting. We learnt quite a bit of useful Indian home remedies (did you know, for example, that a couple of freshly crushed black peppercorns in hot water can help settle your stomach?) but had to run off to get back to the airport on time. We made it, just, and flew off back to Mumbai.

Vikram says:
Shame you missed out on some city centre sightseeing in Goa. It's a lovely place although I prefer Kerala MUCH MUCH more.
Posted on: Jun 04, 2006
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Pre-wedding preparations
Pre-wedding preparations
Henna painting in process...
Henna painting in process...
...and complete
...and complete
Dressed for the wedding
Dressed for the wedding
Now thats an entrance!
Now that's an entrance!
The ceremony (1)
The ceremony (1)
The ceremony (2)
The ceremony (2)
Goa
photo by: chiyeh