Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 254: A Best Friend's Manja

Amidst the insanity of a week of engagement shoots, post-processing, dance practice and more, the fact that my dear childhood friend, one with whom I've shared an irreplaceable number of treasured moments, is getting married did not hit me. And then I walked into her home today on her Manja to see her sitting on the bridal seat, dressed in traditional simple and happy yellow, getting her bridal mehndi done. And it hit me. And of course the tears came. This is the same girl I remember learning the Arabic alphabet with as a 5-year-old, filming embarrassing versions of 80s and 90s Bollywood songs and scenes with, riding our bikes and spying into neighbors' backyards with, reconnecting as fate would have it in college, and all the moments of growing up thereafter. What a special weekend this will be =)

I also noted today how interesting it is to see the similarities and differences between various South Asian Muslim cultures, the little things that make our community so multifaceted and exciting. These elements are, as expected, perhaps never more present than during wedding celebrations, when families and friends gather from around the globe to celebrate. Today I noted how strong and rooted a place family and elders hold for many Hyderabadi families. There is the deep respect for the elders, especially, that one can see in the traditional low head-bowing, the use of the elegant hand to the forehead "Adaab," both of which I do not see, for example, in my mostly-Punjabi family. These little traditions that distinguish one mini-culture from another are beautiful and special, and I hope that we can maintain them, even if in some small way.

Well, here's to the start of a crazy, wonderful weekend!

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