sikh to the max.


i wore a green turban to the sikh wedding. i didn't know they could be so much work. hardeep showed me the long fabric, and we stretched it out, longer than a king-sized bedsheet. "pull it taut," he said. he walked toward me and made four giant knots in the folded fabric. he had me sit in a green chair, and he told me to hold the end of it right in front of my mouth. he started wrapping it around my head. "i didn't know this was so much work," i said. "i always thought you could just plop it on your head like a hat." "yeah," he said, "it's easy to put it on myself, since i do it all the time, but i've never put one on someone else."

when he finished, he was dissatisfied with the result. "it looks...okay," he said. "maybe my dad will fix it for you." i went upstairs, leaving hardeep to finish getting ready in the basement. "oh, nice turban," his uncle said to me. hardeep reappeared. "can you fix it for him?" he asked. his uncle had me sit down on the sofa, and he made some minor adjustments. "it still looks sloppy," hardeep said, "but i think it will be alright." his uncle said it looked fine.

everybody left, and jaspreet's mother asked that i stay behind so that i could drive jaspreet to the temple. i agreed. rather than watch the make-up artist put the finishing touches on her, though, i opted to watch some indian cable. there was a show with a hot indian girl (rucha gujrati), and it was called shh... phir koi hai. basically, the girl would walk around looking hot, and then some crazy demon who looked like a cross between marilyn manson and the lead singer from the cure would kill people. it felt like an indian version of twin peaks.

at the sikh temple, or gurdwara, i had to take off my shoes. hardeep was still disappointed with my haphazard turban, so he told his cousin to rewrap it for me. his cousin led me to the back hallway, sandwiched between the kitchen and office. he had me sit in a chair, and he began rewrapping it. "it's too thick," he said. "would it be easier if i just wore one of those orange ones?" i asked, pointing to the head of a nearby guest. "yes," he said, "much easier. let me find one." he found an orange bandana, and he put it on my head.

i walked to where there was food. it was only about nine in the morning, but i had only gotten about five hours of sleep, so i thought i deserved a pepsi. i took a small plate and loaded it up with these small green, pink, and white sugar balls, something deep fried, and then something else also deep fried. i sat down against a wall and ate until it was time for the ceremony. i followed everyone into the main room, where the men sat on one side, all our heads covered, and the women with their saris and veils, or purdahs, sat on the other. there was a big screen with a powerpoint that showed all the prayers and chants in english. at the very bottom of the screen, it read: sikh to the max.

then, anil and jaspreet got married.

No comments: