In early August, the Girl and I made a trip to Ottawa to attend my friend, Banoo’s, wedding. I met Banoo in the summer of ’91, while taking a summer course in Organic Chemistry at Dalhousie University. We lived in the same little rooming house and studied together.
Since those few sweet months in Halifax, we’ve never lived in the same city. However, our friendship has lasted over the years, through phone and letters, and now through email and Facebook. I was thrilled to be there for Banoo’s special day, and it was a great experience to share that with my elder daughter.
Over the course of the weekend, I realised the importance of spending “alone” time with each of my children. In Ottawa, we stayed with my cousin and her lovely family, which was a fun, added bonus to the trip.
My friend Banoo, is a Bohri Muslim, a sect of Shia Muslims that is incredibly rich in history and culture. The wedding was a fantastic opportunity to experience some of these traditions in a celebratory and authentic setting.
Mehndi, or henna, plays an important role in the bride’s attire, as it does in most Indian wedding. Banoo was a stunning bride with gorgeous mehndi adorning her hands.
The food at the wedding was some of the most delicious wedding food I have ever tasted. Shortly after the beautiful Nikaah (marriage) ceremony, we were escorted to the dining room, where groups of six people were seated on the floor around a raised table. On the table was large stainless steel plate, the thaal, upon which, the six of us dining together. Spooning out each delicious course after the next, we ate and laughed together, cumulatively joyous over the wedding and the savoury meal.