On July 22nd, two days before our wedding, a Mindi (henna) party was thrown in Pavan's honor. We had a vague notion a few people were coming by to get henna and were thus quite surprised to see something of a crowd.
Many people got henna but the brides was by far the most elaborate, possibly testing the brides patience during the hours of application.
The men were kept entertained by drinks, samosa, and other fried snacks in the back yard. Pavan then got to sit by a tray of brightly colored things. It means something but we forgot what.
Once all this was setup people took turns coming by and rubbing some sort of goo on her arms and feet. They also tried for the face but the bride wasn't having any of that.
Even some of her brothers got in on it. Am (left) went for the finger-dab; Rick (right) seemed to be applying for a job as deep tissue masseuse.
It was, all in all, quite colorful.
Once sufficient stuff had been smeared the ceremony switch to more practical matters: feeding the hungry. Various people took turns feeding the bride what looked to be a sort of saffron rice. In the meantime a substantial amount of tandoori chicken appeared for the guys. Most of whom were about full.
Feeding complete and dancing children in tow the bride then had to prove she knew how to deliver food appropriately.
White people followed a time honored tradition of their own: being confused about the traditions of non-white people.
After all this the bride finally got to rest while a dance was performed. Much chanting and beating of the ritual stick ensued.
When the dancing completed a full Indian meal was served, much to the dismay of the guys who had been eating essentially all evening already. The highlight of dinner was a rather awesome yellow butter chicken.
And that is what happened at the Mindi party.