Sunday, February 26, 2006
An Indian Wedding
On Saturday night I went to the reception and on Sunday to the wedding of one of my employees. This is my fourth or fifth Hindu reception/wedding since coming here, and all of them have been slightly different. I am told that the customs depend on the caste and traditions of the bride and groom's family, and also vary significantly by region. In this case the reception took place before the wedding, which had to be at the most auspicious timing of between 7:30 and 9 a.m. this morning. The ceremony took place under a great canopy, almost like a chuppah, where the parents washed the couple's feet with milk, followed by a ceremony with fire and pans of rice, coconuts, and other grains and fruits. These were passed around by the priests so that everyone could touch them. The bride and groom fed each other sweets, and the groom also washed the bride's feet--for what the man next to me joked was the first and last time. .
In other news.....we sold the house!!! It has been sitting on the market for over a year, and we took a bath, but we are rid of it. I won't be buying any more real estate in the Detroit area even when we go back---it's just too hard to unload it with all the downsizing in the auto and other sectors. Even Ann Arbor is in the dumps from what we hear.
As a followup to the our North India trip, an interesting and random tidbit about the Taj Mahal. Last week, I gave one of our employees who missed the bus a ride into town, and he was telling me some fascinating stories. One of them was about the architect of the Taj Mahal, who you'll recall from my last post had his hands cut off by the Emperor to prevent him from duplicating his feat. According to the story, the architect knew that this would be his fate, and when the Emperor called him to the palace, he said that there was still one finishing touch he needed to put on the Taj Mahal---would the Emperor permit him to do it first? The Emperor consented.
After his last visit to the site, it was noticed that whenever it rains, water forms on the casket of the queen, which is located in the very center of the Taj. Attendents had to start wiping the casket during and after rainfall. Yet--to this day--no one has been able to discover where the leak is coming from. It was the architect's final act of genius.
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