Thanksgiving This Year

Missed Thanksgiving at home to attend a South Indian wedding in India.  So what do you do at a South Indian wedding? Wear beautiful, colorful sarees and eat huge amounts of delicious food – many items you never get except at a wedding. Of course, Indian weddings are long so I guess it is assumed you need that much of sustenance to keep you going. Usually it’s a good time to catch up with friends and family, as everyone comes to a wedding. But for me, the few people I know are seriously busy being on the bride’s side. I find myself getting sleepy, thanks to jet lag, and cough syrup. I still have that annoying cough and cannot get sleep unless I take it. Besides which, I’m not used to sitting for so long, doing nothing.

South Indian receptions are different too. Folks line up to meet the bride and groom, and everyone gets their picture taken. There is usually recorded or live music but no singing and dancing. Reception dinners have kiosks, each providing a different delicacy – so you can start off with sweet corn soup, follow up with pani puri and chaat, have a masala dosa’s or vegetable pulao after that, and end with fruit salad and ice cream. Of course, you have to end with a sweet paan, served with a flourish by a young man with a colorful turban. We asked the man what happened to the flourish the next day – he told us that’s only for the reception. Apparently there is an extra charge for the flourish!

The other amazing thing at Indian weddings are the fresh flowers. Seeing all of it festooned on the stage, around in vases, a special sign with the bride and grooms name surrounded by white mums, blue ageratum and green asparagus fern, surely makes me drool. I was just trying to imagine just what the flowers might cost. Next morning, they were merrily throwing them away and a friend tried to salvage a few.

So after four days of festivities, I woke up groggy and dull. I forced myself to make it to the Mini forest for my morning walk. The mini forest is an amazing gem five minutes walk from my house. It has a fenced area with a track all around and a large area of trees in the center – I suspect there maybe 100 trees. It is a beautiful place to walk and there are a whole host of Sunday morning walkers taking advantage of it. Beats walking off the effects of Thanksgiving dinner on a chilly November morning in the Midwest.

I started the year attending a wedding in Chennai with my mom, celebrated my own son’s wedding in the middle, and am ending the year with one more wedding, this time with my mother-in-law.  So I guess my new year resolutions have to include walking away the extra pounds.

Happy Thanksgiving to all – we sure have a lot to be thankful for.

Read More