“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Maya Angelou
I wrote about my trip to India when I traveled there a few years ago.
But I had never been to a wedding in India until this week.
The event was special to me because it was the marriage of the son of one of my childhood friends. In fact, I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. It hadn’t occurred to me until I arrived at the festivities in India that this was one of life’s “full circle” moments. I’ve known Alex, the groom, since he was a baby!
Then there was the thrill of being at the event itself. Yamani and Alex’s wedding was in Jaipur, in Alila Fort Bishangarh, formerly a fort and royal residence; I’m sharing photos on my Instagram.
I loved the drive from Delhi to Jaipur, during which I met new friends and watched cows walking alongside the highway.
I loved that there was a dress code. For example, on the second of three days, there was a Haldi ceremony: a mixture of turmeric paste was applied to Yamani and Alex to protect them from bad luck, and everyone wore yellow clothing. The ceremony was followed by a carnival, including delicious food and even foot massages.
It was fun to see people I hadn’t seen in years, meet many new people, learn about them, and hear their stories. Plus, I had one unexpected conversation with the bride’s makeup artist from India, a practicing Buddhist, and a huge fan of Bob Proctor. So that was fun!
There was dancing, and my favorite moment was when everyone was dancing to Uptown Funk, by Bruno Mars, with a traditional bongo drummer playing along to the music.
And then there was the fantastic food. I didn’t really like Indian food until five years ago. After I went to India, ate the food, and created memories associated with its flavors, I loved it, especially mutton korma and butter chicken.
I loved what everyone wore. As you know from last week’s newsletter, a friend and colleague, Sumeet Shetty, ran interference for me, learning the wardrobe expectations. Finding the right clothing was challenging, but it was magical on the wedding day. Children and adults all dressed in traditional Indian clothing, the men all in turbans, meant to resemble a king, and most of the women were in saris. It was so full of color and life.
For the wedding procession, the groom sat on a white horse and rode down the mountain with all of us following him while a band played. Once in the wedding venue, the bride made a grand entrance, the couple took their seven vows, circling a sacred fire, and were married, as guests threw rose petals.
The final part of what made this special was spending a lot of time talking to Alex’s friends from elementary school, high school, and college. Everyone was happy for the couple, confident in their relationship and who they would be as a couple and family. At the start of their adult and married life, there was a great reason for optimism as the wedding was both a destination and a launch point of hope.
This week’s podcast episode is with Tony O’Driscoll, a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and co-author with Gary Zamchik of the graphic novel Everyday Superhero. He’s a complete encyclopedia when it comes to leadership and innovation. It’s a great conversation, and I hope you won’t miss it.
Have you ever been to a wedding that was completely different than any other wedding you’ve been to before?
A new S Curve experience?
I’d love to hear!
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