Well if I ever met a man with a vision, it’s Pastor Jay, as I said earlier, he started with nothing, but now he is building several colleges with the idea that the orphans education is funded by paying students. Pastor Jay never stops, he is up early, and every day, drives for at least 45 mins to an hour to the promised land to check on the workers and the progress the builders are making. In between that he is arranging marriages for his daughter Neva and his other son Bright, and in any other spare time he is sorting out rice production for the orphanage, water filtration and fundraising, to name just a few of the things he has on his plate. I worried about his work load, and hoped that me being a guest there was a help rather than a hindrance!!!
Talking of marriage, Pastor Jay announced that he had been invited to a grand Christian wedding and asked if Katie and I would like to go (Katie is another guest here from the USA). Of course we accepted with honour, and set about making sure our Saree’s were up to scratch and we had the right accessories to go with it. The girls tied our sarees which was sweet, it was like having someone dress you, I felt kind of honoured!! The wedding, was very, very grand indeed, there were about 3-5000 people there. I heard that the wedding invitation alone cost $20,000, yes excessive I thought too. There were banners all over town of the happy couple and the reception itself was outrageous. Fountain in the middle of the entrance, showers of roses as you came in, fireworks, and of course an enormous royal throne. Food was a quick affair, and I found it interesting with the women in all their refinery, eating with their hand elegantly…..for me I found it difficult to manage without getting rice all down my lovely Saree!!! In India, marriages are mostly arranged, so if you are Indian you can expect to meet your husband for about 5 minutes before you get married, you don’t actually get much choice. Marriage is a much more functional thing here, all things are taken into consideration, like family, values, education and lifestyle. Seems quite sensible, as marriage is not based solely on having a feeling in your heart, where in India with life being so hard, I can see how romance could disappear as quickly as it came. A good debatable subject on if it works better than the western system of falling in love. I saw a documentary once on arranged marriages, and I totally saw a case for it!
I attended a ‘marriage meeting’ at the orphanage as one of the guardians of an orphan wanting to get married. We prepared a little space, biscuits and soft drinks for our bride to offer her potential in laws. We sat on one side, the ‘potential’ husband with his family sat on the other side, while we asked questions, and they asked questions. The potential bride and groom made only a quick glance at each other, seems like their fate, they leave to the family and the guardians. Personally, I did not like that chap, and could not help but feel that this young naive girl would be a slave in his household. Luckily for the girl, I don’t think the family liked her!! Phew lucky escape for her!!
More to come.