Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Hostage Situation

One of the first things I said to Sankat when we decided to get married in India was that I wanted an elephant.   If I was going to go all the way to India to get married I wanted to ride in on an elephant (you can't do that in the states no can ya).  I thought that this request would be so outlandish that there was no way that it could be granted.   Little did I know that I would be taken seriously and the quest to find a elephant would be become a major conquest for the Patel family over the next year.

When I arrived at the Garba Sankat's family had a elegantly decorated elephant waiting for me.  This gorgeous elephant came complete with a headdress, and elephant trainer and of course an umbrella guy (because what elephant would be complete without an umbrella guy).    Alright the umbrella guy wasn't really a guy but a small child but hey no ones to young to work in India, plus weddings are a family business.  Also it was pitch black outside so one did not need an umbrella in theory but hey no elephant is complete without and umbrella boy!

While we were waiting to head to the Garba everyone was taking pictures with the elephant and the elephant would do this neat trick of grabbing money with his nose and giving it to the trainer.  Once everyone took pictures with the elephant, and the elephant had made more money than a stripper in a frat house it was time for me to get on top and ride into the event.  I had created such a big deal about riding in on an elephant that I had to get up there without hesitation!!!  Now came the problem of how I was going to get on the elephant.  The elephant was kind enough to kneel down for me but he of course was still about six feet taller than me!!!  There was no ladder to be found so I grabbed his tail and Sankat shoved me up there Indian Choli wearing and all!!!

I paraded down the street the elephant, trainer, umbrella boy and all.  We arrived at the Garba and I waited a while up top for all to see.  Then I said time to get down, but the elephant would not kneel.  Sankat's uncles were all huddled below yelling up at the trainer the trainer kept shaking his head.  Then the trainer pulled out a cell phone.  My mom asked "why is Selina not getting down."  Sankat replyed, "oh she's just enjoying the view."  I began to realize that I was not going to get down without the trainer making more tip money.

The situtation began to get tense as the uncles got on their cell phones and the elephant trainer got on his to call his supervisor.  After much negotiation and not too many rupiah's later I was back on the ground.

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