Saturday 10 November 2018

New Factory, Wedding and Kerala

New Factory

The land has been finalised and digging has begun. To celebrate this achievement The Deputy High Commissioner was invited to the land inauguration ceremony. The company that Micronclean India is dealing with put up a fancy marquee with covered chairs etc. Simon and Andrew were pleased with their efforts as they had no idea that they were going to go to so much trouble.

I was at home that day as Milo was feeling under the weather so I didn't get to go but just as well. Every day in Bangalore it is sunny. If it rains it usually rains in the afternoon just as the school bus pulls up to drop off the children. But on the ceremony day, it decided to rain as hard as possible, all day, virtually destroying the marquee with the heavy water. They were all huddled under the umbrellas as they realised that the roof might split open! Simon, Andrew and Dominic ( the DHC) were all laughing but some of the team were not.

The design of the new factory.

 The super smart marquee

The Deputy High Commissioner ( still dry here and before Andrew had to escort him under the umbrella to his waiting official car!)

Everyone getting soaked

They are definitely not happy!

Trying to seek shelter on the edge of the marquee. Arjun was soaked too.

This could mean that they're going to get enough water to run the factory when it's built. They need to get the water tanks in now to save it all.

Luckily Andrew met with DHC - Dominic a few days later and they were both able to still laugh about the eventful land inauguration!


One of our friends asked me to go with her to a wedding. We both did not know the bride or groom but the bride was the niece of Petra's maid.  As it was short notice, we both didn't have an Indian sari ( the next shopping trip) but had suitable outfits.
We set off not knowing what to expect. It was a wonderful experience. We sat quietly at the back of the hall as it filled with people but we were spotted and made a fuss of. The Indian ladies were so kind and generous. They took us to see the groom who was outside in a small temple with people putting garlands on him. There was a priest in orange who was wafting things and incense around the groom. 

These ladies explained the ceremony and were so kind and generous.

The priest with his plate of "things: and the groom in the background.

The priest also kept going up to a statue of Ganesha and giving it offerings of food and milk.

After a while, the musicians, who were outside, playing drums and flutes and Indian instruments assembled and led the groom off towards the door. 

We went back inside to try and sneak to the back but, oh no, these kind people were having none of that. We ended up on the front stage taking part in the actual ceremony!

The groom entering the hall with his family

At the alter at the front there is lots of food on the floor and milk , for offerings.

The rice for throwing.

The bride and the groom have already "tied the Knot " ( he ties a silk rope around their hands to proclaim marriage) They are sat here holding a coconut together in their hands while people pour milk over their hands and rice over their heads.

We got to throw rice at the right moment ( when they are declared formally man and wife) and got to pour milk three times over their joined hands that held a coconut. We then had to sprinkle  a handful of rice over their heads. ( They looked quite messy by the end of the ceremony.)
It was an arranged marriage but with a slight twist as they had known each other for ten years and they couldn't take their eyes off each other so it was a definite love match.

During the  ceremony people went off to eat a meal. It was strange because it was like you just went to have the food. People went at different times when they felt like it. The food was eaten from a banana leaf and it was really mild. I was so pleased because I could manage to eat it and not offend anyone by saying it was too spicy. But I really enjoyed the food.

 The other strange thing about Indian weddings to us is the fact that it is so noisy. People talking, children running around and  the musicians were playing the whole time. ( lovely music though)

It was so kind of the family to ask us and they were so considerate explaining everything. we also got introduced to both sides of the family. At the end we got a gift in a cloth bag of a coconut, a special leaf that you chew and a coloured leaf. 

This young lady is 21 and would love a European husband! She spoke good English and had just finished her degree. She was lovely.

The lady that invited us and Petra


The boys had a few days off for the Desara festival and we looked online the week before to see if we could go anywhere for the four days. We came up with Kovalem in Kerala in the neighbouring state but further to the south of India.
We got up at 5 in the morning and were on the plane by 8:20 and then we flew to Thiruvananthapuram (no, we can't pronounce it either!) and it only took 45 minutes. 

The hotel car met us at the airport and the driver helped us with the trolley. As we were crossing the road, a security guard came to help.
 "That's kind", I thought," airport security don't normally help." 
But then he got in the car with us!
The driver explained that the guard had been sent by the hotel to protect us because there was violence in Kerala due to protests about women being allowed into a temple. 
We were slightly unnerved but there was no traffic and no problem and we went on a normal wacky races journey.

 It only took 30 minutes and we were there, in a beautiful hotel next to the sea. ( all by 10:30 in the morning)
Our room had a sea view and a view of the hotel's lake next to the sea.

As we hadn't had breakfast, we had some food by the pool looking at the sea in the distance.
Then, the boys were so excited because one of the chaps took us on a VIP golf buggy around the grounds of the hotel, right next to the sea on their private road. 
Andrew and I thought about how wonderful it was going to be to walk in the greenery for a change. 
No such luck ! M and M insisted on the golf buggy every time, sitting on the back seat facing backwards, laughing their heads off!

We managed to venture off to a local 'backwater' river trip that was interesting and allowed us to spot lots of local bird life including Brahman kites, herons, egrets, kingfisher and cormorants.

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...