Day 3 brings a later start than the rest – we arrive at breakfast after some exercise and take in the schedule for the day. We decided on a tour of a local Mosque. I’m surprised, considering this is a Hindu wedding, that we’re heading to a mosque AND that so many Hindi’s from the wedding are excited to go.
What I don’t realise is we’re heading to a Sufi Mosque.
Now, I need to be clear that getting there is a total shit fight. The streets are full of beggars, severely deformed people, cows, pigs, rats and mopeds. It’s very much in your face and incredibly crowded. If you’re not avoiding cows or pigs, then beggars and small children are asking for food and pushing you. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying at the same time. We are told to ignore them and keep moving on. When we arrive at the mosque its intensely busy and people are everywhere.
We luckily had a private guide and “VIP” service, which meant we were ushered in and taken to a quiet place where we could hear more about the mosque.
What I didn’t understand is that a Sufi Mosque celebrates all religions. Every single type is celebrated to come in and pray. There were Christians, Catholics with rosary beads, Hindu’s, Muslims, all styles of religion happily praying all under one roof (so to speak as it was an open space without a ceiling).
After hearing a little about the mosque, we were ushered into the room with the priests where you were able to give them flowers to bless and throw over your head – the room was wall to wall people chanting, praying and yelling. If you stayed too long, you were crushed so time was of the essence.
From here, they took us to a 3000 gallon pot. This pot is where you throw money or food in to feed the poor. Each day they cook food for those less fortunate in this massive pot. It’s an experience – one I probably won’t go through again, but very glad I did it nonetheless.
We leave the mosque and head back to the hotel – we have 2.5 hours before our next and final part of the wedding – the reception.
I had felt so disrespectful to the wedding party and family not wearing traditional sarees that at the hotel shop I opted for a quick saree purchase. Within 2 hours, he had sent out to have the top made and back to the hotel for them to wrap me in the saree. It took 2 women and almost 20 minutes to get fully fitted– but it was magical to wear.
I walked into the reception to meet Rog wearing a sharp suit (the first time in over a year) and I was greeted by many of the family saying how gorgeous I looked in traditional Indian attire and that they were so glad to see me wearing a Saree. In my opinion buying that Saree was never really for me – I wanted to show respect and their response made it all worth while.
The wedding reception was a Chinese tea ceremony as Charlene is Chinese Singaporean. Charlene arrived in a traditional western white wedding gown and again was absolutely breathtaking. She just became more and more beautiful as the wedding went on (and then even more on our trip post wedding). They conducted a formal tea ceremony surrounded by incredible design and lighting around the pool as we again partook in food and booze.
Once the formalities were complete – the dancing absolutely kicked off. We had no idea that Indians loved to dance and drink quite so much – and were pleasantly surprised! This was the final night, I was in a saree so I got right into it. Dancing with everyone trying my hand at Indian style dancing - I was given the thumbs up by many of the family members. We danced for hours – until…my saree started to fall. I had visions of being naked as a jaybird in the middle of the dance floor in front of all of Ruchir’s family so after many hours and 3 days, we called it a night – exhausted, a little drunk, very full and ready for bed we and reflected on one of the most incredible experiences we have ever had in our lives.