Thursday I awoke around 4am, wide awake. Nerves probably. Although it might have been the plastic bags I had rubber banded around my wrists. Inside, my hands were sweating (so was my entire body, truth be told) and I ripped the bags off my hands and threw them to the floor. I stumbled into the bathroom and stood blinking for a few minutes beside the sink. I stared down at my mehendi-ed hands. There was still mehendi caked on in places. Already feeling suffocated from being bagged up all night, I began rubbing furiously at my hands with my fingernails trying to free my skin from it’s tormentor. No use. The remaining mehendi was not coming off. I gave up, used the toilet and retuned to bed.
Five hours later I awoke to find Moxi in the bathroom scraping at her arm with a dinner knife. She was still covered in Mehendi. I grabbed another butter knife and for an hour (and another hour after a break for breakfast) Moxi and I scraped at her body. The mehendi resisted, but eventually came off.
Thursday was a day of work: clean house, pay bills, wrap appreciation gifts, pack for the wedding, load the car, get our nails finished, shower and dress… all before 6pm. Did that happen? No.
But we did manage to get our nails done at the salon that will forever be known to Moxi and I as “The I’m Mr. Plastic” salon. On the flat screen t.v. mounted to the wall played the cheesiest and most vulgar music videos I’ve ever seen in public. Women grinding on each other while some guy sings in a foreign language. Then up on the screen pops cartoon colors and a little green cylinder begins to sing “I’m a fantastic lover. I’m Mr. Plastic!” I kid you not. Moxi and I about died.
Thursday evening everyone already in town for the wedding: extended family and friends gathered at Moxi and Kevin’s for dinner and drinks. Then came yet another Hindu ritual: Pati, or as I like to call it, “The Pasting Ceremony.”
In this event, Moxi and Kevin sit in chairs while close friends and family (actually all family and I eventually) smeared goop on Moxi and Kevin’s face, arms and legs. This paste turns their skin orange and is symbolic of something that I’ve already forgotten. Then the bride and groom are showered with gifts, most of them bills and then Renu and Ajit gave Moxi some jewelry that Ajit’s parents had given to Renu when she was married.
It was a fun evening, but unfortunately it was not over. Remember all the things we were supposed to accomplish? Well, packing was one that missed the boat. So at 11pm, we headed upstairs to pack Moxi and Kevin for the wedding weekend at the hotel.
Then we drove to the hotel… in Baltimore.
Fortunately, Maryland is small and the time it took was comprable to driving from my house to the Salt Lick.
Around 1am, we crashed in our (awesome!) beds at the hotel and alarms were set for 6:55am Friday morning.