The Boss and I were in Pondicherry last weekend. Pondicherry is a part of India which was once ruled by the French. It still retains a lot of Gallic influences and it is not uncommon to hear French spoken on the streets.
We were there to attend a wedding. A wedding with a Mexican Bride and an Indian Groom in a resort owned by an Indian adopted by a French couple and now residing in France. The Bride and Groom met in the U.S. and now reside in Bangalore.
People had come from all over the world. 90 people had traveled over 20 hours by train from the cyclone hit state of Orissa to be with the Groom, many still without power in their homes.
The couple’s meditation teacher traveled 24 hours by train to lead a meditation and blessing on the morning of the wedding.
The first guest I met was a Spaniard whose nickname is Kiwi, given to him after spending 6 years in New Zealand. He has now lived in India for 11 years and speaks Tamil!
I met a French speaking Mexican from Montreal. Mexicans from Australia, from the United States. A Greek from New York. A Dane and his Mexican wife, ……… they met in Hungary.
I met a girl from Estonia. The first Estonian I have ever met. She had come with her Mexican boyfriend whom she met in Cambodia.
I met a delightful Mother and daughter from Guatemala. The daughter was born in Kenya.
A Colombian couple, she from Chicago, he from London. A French girl ( who is also English – see comments below) living in Mexico City.
And then there is us. A Kiwi married to an Indian after meeting in Hong Kong and who now live in India. A Kiwi who was born in Cyprus, to a mother from New Zealand, whose own parents were from England and Scotland. To an English father who was born in Bangalore and whose own father was English and mother was Anglo-Indian from Kerala.
It is fitting that the wedding took place in Pondicherry the spiritual home of Mirra Alfassa, a French lady born to a Turkish father and Egyptian mother and who made India her home. Known as The Mother, she established the nearby township of Auroville, the city of human unity, in 1964 and it is now home to over 43 different nationalities.
To quote The Mother:
“Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.”
On a smaller scale this wedding did the same.
A lot of new friendships were born during the celebrations. Friendships which will lead to new and wonderful experiences.
As the bride said to me after the wedding: “the circle expands”