Today in India I had the honor of traveling to the village where the groom’s father, Praveen, was born and raised. During the drive I was captivated by school children running up colorful stairs to class. Most of the children spoke English so I talked to them for a while about their studies. They were excited to tell me some stories they had heard about the US. I ended up bummed though when one man approached me to ask about my country of origin and then he quickly departed seemingly annoyed. Oh well, I kept shooting and meeting other people anyways.
I sat for a while across from a construction crew working diligently to complete a project. The women I've seen working do just as much work as the men. No joke. This woman appears stoic but she smiled as I walked away showing her softer side.
The groom’s uncle hosted us for lunch and we had a traditional meal. The sweets for the upcoming wedding have already started creeping into every setting. Afterwards I took a nap upstairs like a drunken deserter. I'll tell you the truth, it seems like I can sleep anywhere right now - standing, sitting, leaning, riding, planking. LOL.
I was awakened by a family member informing me that we were headed to witness a symbolic event. Samir and Amruta visited the temple to pay a gesture of homage to their religion. In a side conversation Pravin told me the room was where he himself had been born. I captured a moment of prayer just as a ray of light beamed through the shutters near the alter right in front of the couple. I was thinking, "No way! Where did that light come from all of a sudden??"
This has been my favorite day thus far because I was out shooting what I love. I had the opportunity to walk around the village with the groom's brother, Darshak, and he graciously answered many of my questions. That's what I came to India for, to learn about the culture and to feed my need for anthropology. Oh yeah, the first day of the wedding is tomorrow!