Saturday, April 30, 2011
We woke up to a bright blue, cloudless sky– a rare occurrence in London, or so everybody kept telling us. Not that it mattered. We could have woken up to a gray overcast and we’d still think everything was peachy.
Our first foray into the outside world involved the search for something to eat. As soon as we got out of the building, we realized that even with the blinding sun, the brisk winds of London made my decision to wear slippers a pretty bad idea in hindsight. We rushed to the warmth of a supermarket where everything was new to my eyes, so I wanted to buy a whole bunch of stuff. Thankfully, I have not adjusted yet to the cost of living there as compared to this third world country, so I only got what was necessary at the time. Pat and Dale, however, somehow managed to quickly acclimate.
This day was reserved specifically for the Ajay & Angel’s Sangeet, so after breakfast and staying too long in the shower because the hot water felt really, really good, we headed out to the Arora house to prepare. Since it was our first day out, Angel thought (rightly) that it would be better to take one of the red double-decker buses instead of the train even though the latter will be much faster. This alone is fairly exciting, as riding a double-decker bus in London is in my bucket list.
When we got to the Arora house, we learn what a Sangeet really is… It’s a dance-till-you-drop, how-dare-you-rest, come-on-get-up-and-dance-again pre-wedding party. Ajay’s brother kindly showed us a few Bollywood videos to educate us. Seems easy enough, except consider this: we just had a long flight, the Sangeet was a few hours long, and Pat and I were wearing insanely hot, but high and painful heels.
Despite the heels and the general fatigue, we had a great time. No, we didn’t exactly follow the Bollywood-style steps, but no one really cared. We just danced, danced, danced. And ate and drank and between. Oh, did I forget to tell you about the open bar?
The then bride-to-be wore a knock-out one-shouldered dress that was yellow at the bottom, but gradually faded to white on top. The bodice is peppered with crystals in a sort of swirly design. The groom wore a rust-colored formal Indian menswear called a Kurta.
At the end of the night, our energy levels dropped from vacation adrenaline to zero. I’m talking about falling asleep on our seats here. Or in my case, looking longingly at a partially-hidden corner, where I could curl up and nap. I realize now that I’ve forgotten how it is exactly that we got back to our hotel, but we did.