Monday 12 March 2012

My encounter with royalty

I've been to my share of weddings. Living in the city of gala weddings has that advantage. And I love going for them. Love getting dressed, eating yummy food and watching people trying to outdo each other in their fineries (oh yes, in Delhi they do that)!!! But I have never been to a wedding like the one yesterday.

There was nothing glaringly different about it. It was in an army mess, with a stage, a mandap and food. But that's where the ordinariness (!?) stopped. The attention to detail came through in each aspect. The barman knew his Mojitos, the decor was elegant and understated and the people - OMG the people! I have never seen so many interesting people in one gathering. And why not. The wedding just happened to be Nepalese royalty marrying into the Rajputs!

The colorful safas worn by the bride's side, the Nepalese topi on the groom's side. The age old attire of modest ghaghras with long cholis and a dupatta covering their head. The heirloom jewelry from an era gone by....big gold naths, pahjebs and matha pattis or pasas on their heads. Each woman uniquely attired yet all quietly graceful. There wasn't a bare back or halter in sight. It wasn't required. This was about elegance. Understated. The kind of elegance and beauty that doesn't demand attention...it just gets it.

The guest list did not boast of big celebrities, though I am sure as hell they could have gotten anyone down whom they wanted to. The attention was on extended family and 'biradari'. The bride's father is a high ranking Army officer but you know how respected you are when the Army chief, Air Chief and high level Navy Officers attend a wedding together.

And the food!! Oh my god the food!! In all the weddings I have been to, big and small, 5 stars and huge gardens, I have never been to one where there wasn't a single flaw in the food. It wasn't extravagant. I've been to weddings where there were 500 food items! There were lesser items here than most places. Yet, each morsel so flavourful, it blew our minds away. The seekh kebab so soft that it melted like kakori usually does! Each of the 4-5 salads were unique....with tofu in the Caesar salad to the perfectly herbed Spinach and feta salad!The main course had the most popular Rajasthani, Nepalese and Kashmiri dishes - think Laal Maas, Yakhni, Rista and the likes. And then came the counters for Fajitas, Shawarmas, Gilauti and ...hold your breath.... a whole lamb cooked on a spit in front of you!!!!

I've been to weddings thrown by rich people where everything is lavish and extravagant. And people with connections so you saw models, actresses and cricketers sauntering around. But yesterday made me realise that you can't buy elegance. Either its in your blood or it isn't.

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