May 28, 2018

Following the Sound of the Drum

Life is full of all sorts of seemingly little choices that can have a pretty big impact.

This weekend I went stag to a wedding, as a friend of the bride's family. Her aunt and uncles and cousins were all sent off to take the elevator to the hotel conference center, where they could see the groom's procession approach up the driveway.

I could've joined them. In fact, I was encouraged to—but it seemed like the only reason to do so would be to avoid walking up a steep hill.

And according to tradition, I probably should've been there with the bride's family to "receive" the groom and his family.

But if I had, in fact, taken the elevator as recommended, I would've missed the majority of the baraat (बरात), including watching the groom climb onto a horse's back (perhaps for the first time ever) and dancing along with all of his family members to the beat of the dhol drum (ढोल).

That's where I want to be: I want to arrive, not watch someone else arrive. I want to move with the music, not stand and wait in silence.

Besides, who knows when I'll get to attend another Indian wedding (as a guest or a participant)? This might've been my one and only shot—and that means I was going to make the most of it.

Related Posts:
The Marrying Kind
On the Sidelines
Photo Essay: The Dances and Dioramas of Hare Krishna in LA

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