Saturday morning, the boy and I overslept, of course. The doll who opted to stay with her cousins in their room left the boy and me each with nice comfy beds to ourselves. “Mom, aren’t we supposed to be involved in something this morning?” The boy asked as I lifted my eyelids to gaze at the clock. “OH! Craaaa!!” I exclaimed and quickly ran toward the bathroom to shower. A quick five minutes later, the boy was taking his shower while I dressed and applied make-up.
When we were fully dressed and ready to go, we made our way to the lobby where we met up other family members and friends of the couple. To begin the Baraat, we were directed out the front door of the hotel, into their front parking lot. The sun was warm and bright, the day a gorgeous blue. Lifting my arm to shield my eyes until adjusted, I turned to my right and found my nephew Adam (or as he became known that day, Aladam), dressed in Indian attire, seated atop a white horse. Taking a moment to snap a picture or two, our attention was then drawn to an automobile with a loud speaker attached and a host, who directed our movements as the Baraat got underway.
The Baraat in Hindu tradition is when the groom and his family and friends, arrive at the wedding in a procession with celebration. As we moved through the parking lot, Indian music blared from the loudspeaker and we were directed to dance. “Raise your hands!!” the director exclaimed and we did. At one point, we were asked to stop and turn back toward Aladam, who was following us on his horse. “Let the bride know he has arrived!! Everyone shout his name!!” In unison, we shouted “Adam!” “Oh, she can’t hear that, you must be louder!” He said. “ADAM! ADAM! ADAM!” We shouted again. Satisfied, the music was turned back up and we began to dance in procession again. “Lift your hands!!” The director shouted and we did as we were told, dancing, hands above our head, dancing in the hotel parking lot, all the while Adam followed us on his horse.
When we finally reached the rear entrance to the building, Adam came down from the horse and was greeted by a man bearing large red and white flowered lei’s. After placing one around Adam’s, his parents and godparent’s neck, Adam was greeted by a woman who placed a red paint dot on his forehead, as well as his parents. From there we all turned and processed back into the hotel and into their grand ballroom, to await the arrival of the bride Ananya so the “Om Shree Prajapataye Namah, The wedding ceremony could begin.