Bill and Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey

North India: Gallery 20a
Royale Residency Hotel Wedding

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We didn't go out on the town for evening entertainment but were surprised when the hotel provided a free show -- of sorts. The lobby and hallway outside our room filled up with celebrating Indian families. They were there for the two weddings held at the hotel. Beside the hotel and just under our window was a "marriage garden" all set up with a canopy covered path, tables and chairs, food counters, tent with chairs and stage, a DJ with a huge PA, and a brilliantly lit stage in-the-round in the middle of the celebration grounds. There was even a second site set up at the back of the hotel. The DJ was a bit heavy handed with the stack of sub-woofers directly under our windows. Our room with a view was starting to turn out to be a horror/comedy show for us.

There were hundreds of guests:  kids, grandparents, parents, friends, strangers. . . all dressed to the nines, glitter everywhere! We pulled chairs up to our large window to watch the excitement below. Colour lights were panning, blinking and strobing. The DJ below us belted out non-stop, blaring music and the booming bass sounds shook the walls . . . and our stomachs. The music was repetitious and kids were running and yelling up and down the hallway outside our door.  The indulgent parents were too busy visiting to quiet the kids. One little kid made continuous screaming bird sounds in the hall. Along with the repeitious loud Indian music a throbbing drum line was added to the mix!

We took a bunch of pictures as we had front row seats for this spectacle. The garden space was so big and the crowd was so spread out that it was difficult to determine how many people were at the party.  Only a few kids and older men were playing / dancing to the DJ's music.

The highlight of the wedding was a ceremony on the colourful rotating stage directly under our window. A large crowd gathered around the stage to watch the bride and groom go through a whole series of traditional rituals on that elaborate platform. Booming air cannons shot out blizzards of glittery confetti. 

When the bride and groom stepped off the stage to pose for photos with relatives, a stream of young kids took their place on the stage. When they spotted us looking down from our window they started waving wildly.  Soon there was a crowd of excited young 'uns gathered below us and they put on a show for our cameras that rivaled that of the bride and groom.

When things lagged a bit we tried to message home with our laptops via the hotel WiFi. No luck. The obliging techie at the desk rushed up to our room -- exhibiting a fine display of broken field running through the throngs of screaming kids in the hallway. Using his smart phone he tried to access the Internet . . . "Nope. It's not working."

You'd think the thump-thump one-note music and the patter of little feet in the hallway would be kind of hypnotic and we would drift into sleep... NOPE. Bill actually took a look out our door and went “shsss” in pantomime to the kids staring at him -- it had no effect. Finally, we fell asleep in the wee hours due to being over-tired.|

When we returned for a late breakfast the next morning, after our visit to the Taj Mahal, the wedding gardens were littered with rubbish from the night before -- a rather dismal sight. There were still a few people there, however -- mostly older folks and little ones. They were still in their finery so they could have been up all night. Weddings are major social events.

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Settling into our digs after the long bus trip

Supper Time

The wedding crowd gathers
to enter the hotel's wedding garden and lobby

The wedding garden beneath our window starts to fill up

The bride and groom and wedding party gather at the stage

The long colourful traditional ceremony on stage

The Exit and Photo Sessions

The kids take over the vacated stage
and put on a show for us.

The Morning After Clean-up

On the road again
Headed for the train station

1. Road to Agra  ::  2. Royal Residency Wedding  ::  Alt1 :: Alt2



Alt1  ::  Alt2

Web Design:  Bill Hillman:
Bill and Sue-On Hillman Eclectic Studio