Late in the evening on the second day, the boy’s side came over (without the bridegroom). They came to formally invite the girl’s side for the marriage the next day and also to attend the girl’s side reception.
Around 7 in the evening, the reception started – it was only from the girl’s side and the bridegroom wasn’t there. Some fields were covered with cloth and an enclosure made. There was food a plenty. The amazing feature of the crowd at the reception was not that there were around 4500 – 5000 people there, but the diversity of the crowd.
There were a lot of poorly dressed villagers on the one hand, whilst on the other, there were ladies impeccably dressed in the latest fashions (men not so much). What I observed was that none of the ‘well dressed’ people showed any annoyance towards their poorly dressed brethren!
Considering that it was almost a community affair, could the politicians be far behind? There were quite a few gun toting guards hovering around some politicians. The one person I recognised was Madhu Koda, who had about 6 guards following him around. Surprisingly, nobody seemed to give a damn.
The reception carried on till almost 2 am the next day.
The villagers who had come home in the morning and had decided to go back to their villages were sent off bearing more food – rice, meat, etc – for those in their village who could not make it.
The actual wedding was on the next day. Everyone got up late and around noon, three bus loads of villagers and around 40 SUVs (mainly Mahindra Scorpios) started up. First stop was at the boundary of the district to pray to the local god for safe passage. Second stop was at the boundary of the boy’s district, again to pray to the local deity to take care of them whilst they were there.
At last, we arrived at the boy’s village. They had sequestered a school compound.
To be continued……
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