Baba called the lawyer to tell him that under no circumstances I would undergo any silly medical tests as he had suggested; that’s the only thing I caught from the heated discussion in Hindi. All of that was nothing but nonsense anyways, who knows what kind of strange thoughts were actually behind that crazy virginity test story. The lawyer’s last statement was that the temple was available tomorrow and if I didn’t want to take the test, the wedding had to be celebrated the next day (whatever… Indian logic, I guess…)
The whole situation made me laugh.
Okay then, let’s get married! There was not any difference between getting married tomorrow, in a week or in a month. We only wanted a small and humble ritual.
Anyways I doubt that in Germany a church speed-wedding of that kind would be possible; no time to organize.
Our weird lawyer would arrange everything for the temple, including the flower decoration. The first thing Baba and I did, was to take a chai at Kashi’s Chai Stall. To have a good cup of chai first of all is sometimes the best thing you can do to keep a clear head.
We announced our wedding in the chai shop. Kashi’s daughter enthusiastically offered her services as my bride-manager. She would buy my wedding saree and all the other necessary things. Thank God! There was not much time and all help was highly appreciated. The Sadhus sitting in the chai stall were invited or invited themselves, thus we had the first part of our wedding party.
Back at the guesthouse, our friend Vijay revealed that he had informed a friend of his, who worked for the local newspaper.
I was shocked:“You did what?!?”
“Yes, this is good for you. So everyone in Rishikesh will know, you’ll have a good proof and nobody will disturb you anymore. And a local TV channel will also be there”
“What? Why would they want to film our wedding?”
“They are actually very keen on your story. A Sadhu marries a foreigner in the traditional Indian way! They love it!”
What to say… I simply surrendered to the flow of happenings. Maybe it really would be of some help to solve our social problems and it was only local media anyways, so it could not get too bad.
In the afternoon, my bride manager took me to the ladies’ tailor to get the blouse for my wedding saree tailored. She had chosen a pink saree with golden and silver embroidery for me and also bought the necessary jewellery. There were bangles, earrings and of course the traditional Mangalsutra, the necklace that marks a Hindu woman as married. In my case all of it was only fashion jewellery, as there was no money and no time to buy the so important accessories for an Indian bride.
The only thing missing now was the traditional Henna paintings on hands and feet. Baba called the Henna-wallah from the bazaar over, who decorated my hands and feet in front of the Chai Shop. Normally the initials of the husband’s name are hidden in the design. After the wedding the husband is supposed to discover it among the lines, this is probably a way to break the spell, as often the bridal couple doesn’t know each other very well before the wedding.
In my case Baba just appeared and said to the Henna-wallah
“You write T.K.N.G. Yes, here is good!”
Sounds to me like the name of some import-export company and the English letters stood out like a pink elephant in the desert amidst the artistic Henna Art; there goes the romantic tradition!
The sun had set when we came back to the guesthouse. The other tourists were all sitting together in the garden. The last days I barely had exchanged more than a couple of words with any of them.
“Hey guys, we’re gonna get married tomorrow, you wanna come?”
They were all thrilled and I would have some back-up from people of my “tribe” during the wedding.
At the end of another Indian crazy day, Baba and I were sitting on the guesthouse’s rooftop beneath a bright Shiva-moon enjoying the silence that was only interrupted by the clitter of crickets and the permanent rushing proceeding from the nearby Ganges.
“Do you have any idea about the Wedding rituals in the temple, and what we are supposed to do there?”
I wanted to know
“Okay. I guess that tomorrow will be a very interesting day for both of us then.”