Sunday, 4 January 2015

Scenes from a Goan Wedding

 -Brian Mendonça

Scene 1
There she was. Almost 3-- in tears. Dressed in satiny yellow, she was a flower girl; part of the bridal entourage. As their entry was announced she somehow lost her way. The bridal entourage was by now skirting the perimeter of the dance floor.  With all the guests ranged in a circle she was in the wrong place at the right time. Everyone stared. But no one moved.  Her accompanying page boy looked a bit confused in the entourage. So I did what I thought was the best thing to do. I cut through the crowd, took the little girl’s hand and led her to her page boy. The bridal entourage complete, it resumed its sedate progress. Only later I noticed her blowing bubbles by herself, least interested in the momentousness of the event. Oh well! 

Scene 2
It seemed like three hours into the reception – and A26, the Goan band, had played just 3 songs. When we really got grooving it was 11.15 p.m. After listening to their music we were wishing we had got more of them and less of the M.C! I love the way they started with Eagles (I refuse to put it down to retro!). The Goan masala had the whole crowd delirious, with the enticing beats of the birdie dance bringing children on to the floor as well. One young lady was swinging away with her baby girl who was wriggling her toes all the way. A26 played with verve. They had a new sound, were versatile, and were obviously enjoying it.*

Scene 3
Dinner is announced. Three/or four drinks down and people are quite ‘happy.’ Goan lads and lasses emulate elders and drink as if there is no tomorrow. Dinner comprises of no less than about 20 dishes. As plates are heaped and drink beguiles appetite, huge mountains of food lie wasted on the table. Guests wobble to their cars, to reach home on a wing and a prayer, ferrying their precious cargo, and fighting sleep.

After attending countless weddings in Goa here’s what I usually do: i) I carry my own water. I don’t drink -- not even beer, when we travel far – because I am driving my family back home on village lanes in Goa which are often pitch dark past 1 a.m. ii) I try not to do an event in North Goa for lunch and South Goa for dinner on the same day. It doesn’t work for me or our kid. We need a decent quantum of sleep. iii) Nibble at the food. We eat to live not the other way around. Food is tastier when you focus on a few dishes. iv) Gift your dessert away. Trust me – you will feel lighter on the way home. v) Don’t forget to get your tyre pressure right when you tank up to head to the venue.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------* (A26 is the number of the house the group practises in at Baga, Goa). Published in Gomantak Times Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday 4 January 2014. Cartoon of typical Goan wedding reception or Tornaboda by Mario Miranda

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