Wednesday, June 22

Meet the Ramtoolas

One of the constants I've come to expect from a wedding-holiday is the deep exposure to the family of the bride or groom. This is unsurprising really; Indian weddings involve many events, many of which take place in a home with open doors; add to that the sheer joy and happiness and it's inevitable that you'll bond with people as they welcome you with open arms.

Being the imposing and tactless chap I am, I tend to lap this stuff up. It doesn't take long before I've exploited the situation and made myself comfortably at home, or at least free, familiar and friendly with my hosts. I'm yet to establish whether this makes me a rude guest or not, but until I'm actually chucked out of a place (something that may have happened a couple of times) I'll say the latter. Regardless of the detail, I was especially looking forward to Mauritius this year because of this factor, particularly after the touristy slog that was South America. Yes, that's right; I've become a people-holiday junkie.

So on that note I'm having a lovely time here, and it's obvious to me why. Since we're only staying here a week, the wedding and related functions have taken up most of the schedule - in fact as a visitor it's all a little intense really. It helps that our hosts and co-guests are all amazing (even though the majority of them seem to be accountants) and seem to have enough time to hang out with us outside of the nuptials too. That they all live on the same private road is also awesome since it essentially means easy access to what seems like a party everyday.

And what parties there were. There were two dinners, two mehndis, a nikkah and reception, and I'm struggling to decide which I enjoyed the most. I think this was pretty much as "big Indian wedding" as I was ever going to be involved in (it was very different to what I would be involved in back in Karachi or when I visited Bangladesh), and between all the events we had some awesome food, live music, dhandia, cocktails, giant prawns, excellent conversation, mad jokes, emotional moments, stargazing, speeches and lots and lots of fun and dossing. And to top it off, everyone looked so good too. Seriously, these were some collectively hot people.

But it's really the inherent happiness-by-default that's infectious here. People seem so simply content that it's easy to become the same in their company and forget about all those little issues (back in the UK) that would otherwise bring your mood down. Furthermore the undeserved attention, generosity and care shown to us all just added to feeling of euphoria. But despite how equally nice everyone was to us, they were all also unique enough to be taken as individuals, be they adult, kids, native or from abroad. So we had the funny ones, the caring ones, the super smart ones and the interesting ones. It was like being in a pick 'n' mix of awesome people and there was always something new about someone new to find out.

Anyway I'm probably embarrassing myself and them by this point. If it's not already clear by now, I think I have a little crush on the extended family I've met here. I wonder if they're looking to adopt? To be honest I'm not looking forward to the crashing withdrawal symptoms when we finally have to leave here.

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