So here then, as the title suggests, is an Anglo Indian wedding. The first of two back-to-back Anglo Indian weddings I shot this year as it turns out. The only two and they were back-to-back. Go figure. I loved this wedding, it had everything. And a lot of that everything was completely unfathomable to me. The ceremony that is, not the day itself. The day and the love on show was very fathomable. But I don’t feel too bad about being confused by the ceremony because it seems like pretty much everyone else was. Including Anna and Bhav. Coconuts were held for reasons that were never made clear, things were placed on heads, string was twined, things were thrown, fires were lit and extinguished. We know this happened because there is photographic evidence of it all. I took those photos. Why they happened is less clear. The ceremony was two hours long and Anna wasn’t even a part of it for the first half hour–Anna took to fixing the table settings inside the marquee as it all started to get underway just across the field there for a while. But still, for a two hour ceremony it seemed to fly by. It was exotic and fascinating and charming. Maybe a little less exotic to the Indian contingent, of course, but still I’m pretty sure everyone would be on board with the charming part. But anyway, this really was a beautiful day. It was also a newly post-Brexit day and in some ways the coming together of two cultures felt all the more vivid for that. There seemed to be a feeling of togetherness, of two cultures warmly enjoying each other’s company, heightened by its implicit flipping the bird to the odious, smug and mendacious UKip brigade. It made a complete nonsense of the whole thing.
I was going to tell you how Anna and Bhav met, but I can’t top Anna’s description so here it is:
‘We met in Afghanistan whilst on a tour of duty at HM the Queen’s behest. He was bomb disposal with the Royal Engineers, I was a translator and nurse. We became friends. We drank tea together at night sitting on a bench made from empty ammunition tins. The tea was bad, the chat was good. When our tours ended, we missed the tea. And possibly the company. We can bore each other of wartime anecdotes no-one else wants to hear. It’s what keeps young people together these days so I understand.’