The Captain just announced that we will be stuck on the runway for another 30 minutes, so I figured why not get a head start on my long weekend recap.
Memorial Day weekend seems to always be a good kick off to the spring/summer wedding season. This time, it was Chirag’s cousin Jay’s turn, as he finally married his eight-year long girlfriend, Trusha! We were very excited for this long weekend since Chirag and I haven’t been able to travel lately. It was a good time to see family and friends, plus J & T’s wedding was going to be taking us across 2 different states and 4 different cities! Yup, you read right!
We started on Thursday in Harrisonburg, Virginia for J’s Pithi and Graha Shanti. Don’t quote me on this a hundred percent, but basically Graha Shanti is to make sure all the planets and the universe is at peace and we ask the Gods for their blessings as we begin the wedding festivities. The Pithi part is my favorite. It’s when the women in the family help get the groom ready for his big day. Basically, we each get to put this yellow paste called, “pithi” on the groom. Traditionally, I believe it’s made with turmeric, yogurt, and sometimes honey. By putting it on the groom’s skin, it helps make him “glow” on his big day. T’s side has a similar event on her side as well. In case you'd like to know more in-depth information this website is really great. Unfortunately, most of the pictures are still on my brother-in-law's DSLR camera, so for now these will have to do.
Chirag and I missed out on the main Mendhi Night event on Wednesday, where all the women on J’s side beautify the palms of their hands and feet with Mendhi designs. My MIL is so sweet and caring though, she saved a Mendhi cone just for me, so that I wouldn’t feel left out. As all the men and women played Antakshari (singing Bollywood songs… mainly wedding songs) after the Thursday night event, I tried out my own mendhi skills on Chirag. Although, I’m no artist… I was pretty proud of my work! What do you think, eh?
Kalash Pooja (I think)
with the Groom
My Mendhi attempt
Early Friday morning, the “Jaan” aka groom’s side, took off in two big buses at 6am from Virginia and headed to Knoxville, TN! Chirag was excited about this since he’s from Knoxville and this way we get to spend some time (although quite brief) at his home as well. Our bus (the kid’s bus) was a lot of fun!! I love how I’m 32 years old, yet still considered a “kid” in our family! J The groom’s men really kept us all quiet entertained throughout the ride. Halfway, we stopped at a rest area where we all had Subway sandwiches for lunch and since we were running early, we even got to enjoy the great weather outside. The kids played “Kho”, basically a fun version of duck-duck goose. I had never played it before, but it was so much fun! All of Jay’s friends and other cousins were really sweet and by the end of the game we had all really gotten to know each better… the entire bus ride to Knoxville was a great ice-breaker for all the guests. That’s the best part of the wedding after all… getting to meet new people and enjoy times like these.
We made it to Knoxville with plenty of time to rest up and get ready for an exciting night of Garba… my favorite! If you’ve ever been to an Indian wedding I’m sure you’ll agree that this is the best part. Basically, it’s a lot of dancing but you get to do it in a big group and it’s just a lot of fun. Back in the day, Garba use to be very simple… but these days, kids are coming up with all these new and innovative steps. I was starting to feel old, but luckily my new friends…helped teach me some new moves!
Finally, it was Saturday morning.... Wedding Day!!! It was a short 1 hour drive from Knoxville to Pigeon Forge, TN. Trusha looked gorgeous in her wedding dress and Jay was looking handsome in his traditional wedding outfit as well. Everything went really smoothly on wedding day and in the evening we were off with the Bride back to Virginia.
On Sunday, we headed towards Washington, D.C. area for a beautiful reception from the groom’s side. The Bride and the Groom again looked stunning. We really had a great time eating some delicious food and dancing the night way!!
We are so happy for Jay and Trusha! They have both known each other for such a long time and I know they are excited to finally start this new journey together, as husband and wife.
Groom & His Groom's men
My hot date
with the Newly-weds
We weren’t quite ready to say goodbye… so we decided to stay in D.C. on Monday for Memorial Day. We got to see the official Memorial Day Parade and also visited some of the Smithsonian museums. It was short stay in the city, but I’m glad we spent the extra day with our family.
Heading back… it’s hard to believe that we have traveled over 28 + hours and been to 4 different cities and 2 states in the past 6 days! It definitely has been a whirlwind… but I’m actually sad it’s over and now it’s back to reality! :(
How did you spend your Memorial Day long weekend?