Friday, April 10, 2015
This is the story of how I crashed an Indian wedding.
I was walking down a street in Udaipur with only a vague plan of taking the cable car ride up the mountain when a young man suddenly approached me and invited me to have chai. My initial reaction was to decline; he was about my age, eager, and I could already guess what he was interested in. And yet when he asked again, something in me caved. Why not? I thought. I had been on my own for several days, was bored, and something about this unexpected offer for chai seemed like an avenue for adventure that I was so badly craving.
And so I found myself in a tiny textile shop with this boy and the owner of the shop drinking piping hot chai, fresh from the chaiwallah just across the street. When they offered me a joint I shrugged internally and accepted. I was just smoking a joint in a scarf shop in India. It was so random and ridiculous, but I liked the sound of it in my head. Surely this was what travelling was all about: having insane and unexpected experiences. The sensible part of my brain told me I was being irresponsible, but I shrugged it off. I didn’t feel threatened or unsafe, but half the thrill of the moment, if I’m being honest, was the fact that it was edged with the possibility of danger, and that I was risking it.
This was all going on in the back of my mind, when about halfway through the conversation I just happened to mention that I’d always wanted to go to an Indian wedding.
“You should stay until tomorrow! The wedding’s tomorrow.”