The Big Fat Indian Wedding in Mumbai
When I was in Mumbai on holiday I was invited to an absolutely opulent, lavish Marwari wedding for 5000 guests. The entire set up and décor around the venue of the function was simply exquisite, especially the Mandap (stage on which the Wedding Ceremony is performed by the priest), which was carved with gold arching.
They say marriages are made in heaven but the idea of recreating heaven on earth is a thought that is lesser known to some and unimaginable to most. In a country like India, however, with its rich culture and diverse heritage, an outsider is likely to get the treat of a lifetime.
Traditionally speaking when one thinks of a wedding, all that comes to mind is the priest, the divine feeling of marriage, the vows that the couple take, and of course the family and friends on that special occasion. But nowadays, a wedding is much more than just the conventional ritual of tying the knot. It has become a celebration of the best food, a blizzard of songs and dances, an entire week packed with exciting festivities leading up to the actual wedding.
Indian Wedding – Food, Music & Festivities
The display of food at this wedding completely blew my mind with its endless and exclusive selection of delicious treats, with the theme ‘Around the World in 100 Dishes.” The hosts had flown in chefs from Thailand for a live authentic Thai cuisine, Lebanese chefs from Beirut, and chefs from every possible region in India, to create specialties from North and South India. Guests sat on the poti and ate from silverplated thalis and I particularly enjoyed the black daal, keema and mutton on the tavaa, different styles of phulka and parathas and delicious badam ka halwa.
And Bollywood’s Karan Johar too…
It was a star-studded wedding and I spotted director Ramesh Sippy, music composer Anu Malik and actress Poonam Dhillon. Just when I thought nothing could outweigh my state of being overwhelmed by such a grand evening, to my sheer luck and good fortune I bumped into Karan Johar – one of India’s biggest filmmakers – someone whom I incredibly admire and look up to for his remarkable stature and significant contribution to Indian Cinema.
An aspiring actor myself, I was awestruck when I was personally introduced to him by the family of the bride. Breathlessly I told him what a huge fan I was and requested a photograph with him. He complied and said, “Good luck with everything and I wish you all the success in life. God bless you, Zoran!” Even though it was a brief interaction, I cannot possibly explain how immensely personal and special that moment has been in my life.
Every individual at some point wishes to be able to pause and relive a specific moment or day in their life to the fullest, without the fear or anxiety of letting time move on. I have to admit that attending this exceptionally well crafted and opulent wedding will always be remembered as one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I guess that’s why it’s said, “If every day was like living in heaven, why would one dare to dream?”