In English this time, so the Indian guests can understand =)
When something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Right? Personally, when Santosh e-mailed me in early April, it was that exact cliché which struck me immediately. My blood pressure rose when I started reading about an Indian guy coming to The Netherlands for work and subsequently ‘falling in love with the country and a beautiful Frisian girl’.
I was buzzing to read about a two-day wedding extravaganza in August and jumped around like a kid when the passages about my ‘wonderful photography skills’ ‘and possible interest in working with them’ crossed my eyes. Like: wtf. Is this some 2019 version of Bananasplit? Are these guys for real?
Well, the short answer is yes. They were for real. And so was their interest. And so was their wedding. For. Real.
When we sat down face to face, they were exactly what I expected. Santosh was the, in my eyes, quintessential friendly, jovial and well-mannered Indian, and he didn’t lie about Djura either. She’s just as blonde and pretty as you would expect from a girl from the North. Funnily enough: it was probably also the last time that my predictions would come close.
Don’t get me wrong: I Googled for hours to research what to expect of their Indo-Western fusion wedding, specifically their traditional Indian wedding on Sunday. I did my homework.
Or so I thought.
In a very amicable way, Organized Contrasting Chaos is what I’d use to describe those two magical days. I expected the Saturday to be ‘straightforward’ enough. I mean: there’s gonna be a guy in a suit, a girl in a white dress, we talk, they say yes, kiss, exchange rings and we get hammered. Dutch weddings 101. Been there done that. Well, leave it up to the Indians to throw some spanners in the works. For instance: I for one had never photographed a groom on a decorated white horse and a procession of a dhol drummer and dancing guests. It was my maiden baraat. Or what about Sunday’s Kashi Yatra? No clue? Ganesh Puja, then? No? Kanyaa Dhaanam?
Yeah, well, me neither. It was a completely new experience. It was beyond any expectation I had. It was the next level on colours, scents, traditions and my amazement. I tried to keep my biggest smile and air of ‘I’ve got this, don’t worry’ attitude up at all times, but trust me, occasionally I felt like a professional headless chicken. And truth be told: I absolutely loved every second of it.
Here’s a handful of my favorites, and thanks to the champion Damon Pijlman for keeping me company.