I spent the last to weeks at my son's wedding in Bangalore, India. It was the most incredible time, the rituals in the temple were so moving and poignant, a once in a lifetime experience! I wrote the following when I first arrived:-
Extraordinary country India, the people are so friendly and smiley yet there is such poverty and waste everywhere. The buildings are either high rise or falling apart with endless encampments of families and children playing among the ruins. The women and children look so colourful and pretty in their sparkly sarees, its hard to see how such beauty can come from such primitive dwellings. Meanwhile I am staying in luxury in Bangalore for my son's wedding on Wednesday, with endless shopping for wedding sarees, Mehendi and reception attire. Shop girls buzz around like bluebottles advising on colours, materials and petticoats, not to mention the little gold blouse to wear under the saree which has to be pulled tight like a Victorian corset! The reception staff at the hotel are adorable, always three of them who are so responsive when you walk in, following you with their big eyes and big smiles, turning their heads to greet with 'namaskara'. It is a great privilege to be part of their culture for a few days.
And the traffic! You literally take your life in your hands crossing the road - only yesterday a group of us managed to duck and dive between a tidal wave of beeping cars, motorbikes and rickshaws to reach the other side only to see my daughter's head rising in the sea of traffic behind us - I thought we had lost her! Every day the local paper reports traffic accidents, people falling off motorbikes under cars, whole families perched precariously on bikes being wiped out as potholes unbalance them - what a relief that she kept her head made it across to the other side!