March 12, 2012

The Big Day: The Marriage of Bhawana and Nimesh -- Part One

Wednesday March 7 -- The Wedding of Nimesh Thapa and Bhawana Khadhka -- the event that had brought this decrepit old man half way around the world  This photo post is Part One of the wedding day (which lasted from early morning to nightfall). The reason this is Part One will be explained at the end of the post.

Here's your wedding invitation:

Family and Friends Gather at the Thapa House 
The band is already playing in the courtyard:

And the groom's chariot is  ready for the procession to Bhawana's house In India, he might ride a decorated horse or elephant. But Nimesh will have to make do with a festooned Mercedes. The "N-Heart-B" on the rear window was his idea:

Here Comes The Groom
Nimesh is dressed in the traditional wedding garb, including the Gurka dagger in his belt:

I was surprised and honored to learn I'd ride with Nimesh in the procession to Bhawana's house.

The procession begins! First in line: a marching band, followed by many women in beautiful red saris dancing in the street. Next up: by our car, followed by other cars and several buses. First stop: the temple nearest to the Thapa house:

When the Thapa caravan reaches the Khadha house, Nimesh and Bhwana's father participate in a puja ceremony.

Then the well-garlanded couple come together for a series of rituals:

They start by having their hands and feet washed:

We Interrupt This Program . . .
As I decide it's time to get back to my hotel. I had awakened at 4am the morning of the wedding with a bad case of the traveler's trots. Fortunately, the hotel staff improvised the Nepali equivalent of Imodium, which permitted me to get through the morning. But now, exhaustion was setting in. Fortunately, a car was already scheduled to go back to town, taking the designated Thapa females home to prepare the house for the proper welcome for Bhawana, the newest member of the family.

I was happy I'd been able to participate in the first half of the ceremony. I was also glad my decision to leave was not disruptive.

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