A Rural Asian Wedding Travelogue, Maharashtra, Mumbai
Comments 111

When a wedding found me travelling in Mumbai


It was then my first visit to Mumbai. And hence everything i was laying my eyes on went deeper than only seeing. I was hearing, more. Walking more. A place that promises light to your dreams ever since you earned consciousness, a place known for many a rags to riches story. Famous or infamous for world’s second largest Film Industry. I was there looking at every action, motion, observing how people move, react, are.

Yet, I hadn’t been able to go out much then in Mumbai. One thing that i had loved walking in mumbai were the dairy shops where you would get Chai from the fresh milk. So one day while having malai/cream chai at a milk dairy I had started having a liking for, only because there was a beautiful big peepal tree I could sit under. And secondly. unlike in north India where there is milk a plenty but there is no way you can sit and enjoy different variations of milk in a dairy shop. Mumbai seemed to be bathing in milk as much and moreover you could sit here like in restaurants.

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That evening I had my camera as i had gone on a photographic walk around the Versova betty area. It seemed a beautiful day as i had hardly moved around mumbai studying it in images ever before. I can say that was my maiden image day for Bombay.

After a whole day of making images around sea and standing passenger jetty, i was coming back to my favourite chai shop when a sound of brass bands, drums started approaching from far. I followed that sound, it wasn’t that hard and found colours that were talked vibrantly. Without even asking I started following the people and the bride for next few hours till the moon came out. I think it was a day of the wedding and i was documenting the bride’s journey to a local temple before they would leave for the wedding venue.

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So i followed the bride to the local temple, and later a whole detour of the old versova village was taken moving towards the bride’s home. The family was surprised yet they were elated. They fed me and asked me to come along for the wedding. I handed my card over and told them i will inform them if i can make it, as i had given my time somewhere else.

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It was a refreshing time and day for me, to move about and discover local lanes and earlier in day, the coastal suburb with a very subtle fragrance of fish penetrating my whole being settling over mine and bodies of houses and humans alike.

It was also the day that opened me to Mumbai. When everyone had left, i sat looking what was left behind. I had a beautiful day and that journey in Mumbai still lingers around in my mind because few days after there would come along a beautiful project that took me to the most ancient sites Buddhist sites in Sanjay Gandhi national park and most awaited Ajanta and Ellora Caves.

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But more of that, sometime later. Hope you enjoyed the great Indian street wedding. And do let me know if you have danced at any Indian Wedding yet?


by

Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.

111 Comments

  1. Dear Narayan,
    How wonderful to read the words written by someone passionately in love with his country and its people. You turn the everyday occasion like weddings are in a big city, into a colourful, poetic encounter, with the pictures so full of detail. You don’t want us to miss anything, even the inside of the magnificent parasol/umbrella. It is as your voice was urging us to look, and look again. Dancing at the wedding like this? It would be a delight!

    Joanna

    Liked by 3 people

    • It would be delightful to dance Joanna, you can’t stop when Wedding music plays here 🙂 Is parasol a spanish word ?

      It is true Joanna that i love this country but i love her for the ethics and morals her children/our ancestors have bestowed upon us. For example, and simple as, understanding of breath. Yogis like me who are living in a world blinded by screens and glamour of all kinds, so just being thankful.

      I hope you are well and breathing deep, Joanna.

      ❤️
      Nara

      Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Just read you live Pune, i have beautiful memories of my time in FTII there, dear Ashok. But yes, amchi mumbai, though you will agree with me, with ongoing ruckus there, things are going to change.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have lived all over the country Narayan and find Mumbai and Delhi and Bangalore not liveable any longer 😛

        I love Pune and Chandigarh and a few other smaller towns

        Like

        • Totally, i cant tell you how unbelievably beautiful, forms filled sky delhi had due to this Pandemic that it was a delight to keep looking up. The colour and feeling within body this whole season was different and probably a blessing for all non-human beings.

          Yes, both are beautiful and i am certain many people must have decided to not be back after all this, this year.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that’s a tea tapri and restaurant description difference i never knew. How beautiful is the shot of Aalta feet and barrat. Bylanes always take you door by door to different worlds and their stories… You’ve captured every essence beautifully 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indian weddings can be quite a community affair! My debut novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, could not be complete without the joyous celebration of a Hindu wedding 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a beautiful collection of images of an Indian Street wedding, I truly enjoyed it. I happened to attend a wedding on my trip to India, just by accident ( well I don’t really believe in accidents) I might repost that from 4 years ago. Thank you for your share.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Cornelia. Yes, in a way there are no accidents, its us who might only see it that way.
      But Lovely to know that. Please do post. I will be eager to see how was it like for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is kind of memorable when also you just join something you are not invited to and hover around as if someone’s hired you for it. I remember of course getting some eyes from the photographers who were actually hired.
      anyways dear conniedia, i feel i should take this name than ghosted 🙂

      Like

    • Thanks Cheryl. Weddings here usually are such affairs, just that we cant hear all that trumpet jazz and noise of the mumbai streets. Thanks. Always a pleasure.

      Like

  5. I love these photos, and perhaps most love how you get out and meet the people ~ putting yourself in the scene. These are the gifts travelers can give, and as you show here in your post receive kindness in return. Brilliant ~

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dearest Ali, thanks for your words. I enjoyed this evening, this day of my life, very much and happy i could share it and have you here. It is most lovely. Hope you are doing things happily.

      Narayan

      Liked by 1 person

  6. In my previous job at a hospital, we had quite a lot of Indian nurses that came to South Africa to work in the healthcare industry … and they always shared photo’s of their beautiful weddings. This post remind me of their kind hearts 🌼
    Your photo’s are pretty amazing and so colourful 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • See, how it all connects. How quietly you have been carrying images from one hospital job, visuals of beautiful Indian weddings and your colleague nurses.
      Thanks my friend. Once when things get back to some sanity, you must plan for some days and weeks in India, with a priority of dancing at an Indian Wedding.

      Narayan

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is a constant inspiration to me to know their are people with such space in their hearts to invite people who care and whom are interested to share in the small things that light up their lives!

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jaya, thank you for writing. I remember writing to you before. I hope you have been well and doing things happily.

      Yes, there are people still carrying that light and warmth. Thanks for writing and lovely to have you here again.

      Narayan

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful!
    Remember bumping into a wedding on the streets of Delhi back in 1985, when I solo-backpacked around the world – what an amazing experience!
    Many thanks for stopping by my travel and photography blog – much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi. Thank you soo much. Lovely to have you and read these motivating words. I was trying to read about you and get your name right but i couldn’t get through to your blog, as the link would not open. But whenever i will remember and get that light again, i will visit Creative Crafts Do it Yourself 🙂

      Thank you
      Narayan

      Like

    • haha, well yes, for long chai shops on the roadsides have been a special place for me too, to investigate and find all the ongoing info’s while travelling here in India particularly.

      I am myself glad to have such conversations, with whom who can incite some more visions and share as much.

      Thanks you again Ruth
      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

    • And yes you have a beautiful blog, it was getting for me to follow it but somehow i managed, and Guatemala, looking forward to receive your journeys, looks one of its kind 🙂
      My wishes, see you seen dear Ruth.

      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. No I have not danced at an Indian wedding – I don’t think anyone would enjoy that sight. but I did enjoy you sharing your adventure and all the beautiful color.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Harbans, been sometime. Also Lovely to have your appreciation coming on images which many a times pass by as merely a routine affair.
      It was as delightful a time to experience it as much.

      Thank you again
      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

      • We should learn from others experiences and the best thing is that we tend to improve our know-how by picking up pieces of knowledge from every person and place we think good.

        Thanks for your invaluable comments.

        WITH REGARDS
        HARBANS

        Liked by 1 person

        • Probably that is why we are holding on to, for life has its own rewards and few pains. earning and sharing, is something certain to have you float over anything.

          Thanks for your words again Harbans
          Nara

          Liked by 1 person

          • Happiness is reward of our will to fight our bad experiences. Those who stay cool and fight on succeed but those who just have escapist attitude lead an uncertain existence.

            Thanks and regards

            Liked by 1 person

    • Going through your blog i imagine you are not in Bharat as of now. Well Pune is a wonderful place to have many experiences Bharat provides. Thank for writing Ian.

      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

      • After 20 years in India I was transferred to Singapore for 10 then on to the Philippines before being asked to return to Australia and reengineer a hospital. I’m now retired.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Whoa Ian, very interesting, and would be interesting to know how your body, brain, taste buds, sleep, system over all took this because from reading your stories i could feel that you have loved to come close to people and understand their culture, tradition. You must have left some part of you in these countries, and may missing it too from time to time!

          Nara

          Liked by 1 person

          • The happiest memories we have of our thirty years overseas is of Bharat Mata and the peoples of Southern Asia as my duties took me to the surrounding countries too. I enjoy education so completed the MBA course in IMDR Pune for my continuing education and was a member of the ICS Delhi until I resigned when returning to Australia. I have friends all around the world from my travels and value them all. There is something special about India. Yes it has some downsides but there is an atmosphere that surrounds you there which you never get out of your system. We still enjoy our Indian curries. 🙂

            Like

    • Thanks Denise. I am happy as the compliment only multiplies when it comes from a photographer. Some beautiful forests you have travelled to.

      Thanks for writing.
      Nara x

      Like

  10. Whoa, what an amazing story and even better pics. This is real quality content right here. Thanks for taking me to another part of the world, especially in the day of the pandemic!

    Like

    • Thanks Stuart, Pleasure. Rural Weddings in South Asia is a web of intimate rituals and ceremonies, and thus is an ongoing long-term project across six countries, even though i might never visit one amongst them.

      Thanks again for the words.
      Nara x

      Like

  11. Hey Narayan. Such a passion you have to describe the world through your words. You almost make the same world I live in somewhat different to what it meets the eye. HAHAHAHA god to say you surprised me on your topic of a wedding and the varieties of sweet dairy sweets just made my mouth water as I read your blog.
    Keep blogging my friend and continue showing the world through your words. Good day:)

    Like

    • Mumbai has so much life put in by all love, history, lust, hate, wandering and even myth put together Vagha that it is impossible to override through this feeling. I must tell you that for a long time i have been longing to travel through the Maharashtrian countryside just waiting for the land to call me. Let see. I do want to live it and write daily these feelings.

      I am happy you do not mind sweets and even crave it a little too 🙂 Thank you so much. Your words, views and reviews have quietly been important for me to know myself better dear friend. Thank you so much.

      Like

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