The serious wedding preparations are now underway.
We had another late morning, sleeping in ’till about 1000.
In a traditional Pakistani wedding, we found out, the ceremonies last for a week with a number of events mostly oriented towards the ladies. There are family parties as well as specific, requisite events that have been arranged as we counted down to the wedding or Nikah day, with a final celebration party to announce the marriage publicly on Saturday.
Today’s event is the Dholki, and all the ladies are off for another day of celebrations and dancing with more elaborate outfits and dresses.
In the afternoon, the ladies in our family headed to Naila’s house first to get ready, then over to Ghazala’s house, a very close friend of Naila’s to hold the Dhokli to eat, drink tea and dance. Friends of the family, family members, the bride and the groom, all get together for a party and celebration.
Our ladies looked very elegant in their first official outfits for the wedding. These outfits, as well as the ones for the succeeding events were all custom made in Pakistan after measurements had been taken in Canada and sent via Whatsapp to Naila and her tailors in Karachi.
The outfits were very elegant, in the traditional Shalwar Kameez fashion with top., pants and a matching scarf. There is an outfit for each of the last three formal events and they are more ornate and colourful as the Wedding Day gets closer.
Earlier in the day, Clive had arranged for a golf outing for us via a friend of Salman’s, Siraj Banatwala who is a member at the local premiere Karachi Golf club. Located in the center of Karachi on a Naval base, the security is tight and you need to show your Club membership card to get in.The course was very nice with relatively straight fairways, a few dog legs and water on a few holes. Generally all the tee blocks, fairways and greens were well watered, most by use of brown water, a euphemism for raw sewage water as water is very scarce here.
There were a few water holes and I was slightly concerned that the water holes would snag a few of my shots. I had only brought 3 golf balls and a few tees. I shoot with yellow golf balls as my aim can be erratic and yellow ones are more visiblre and easier to find.
I often go though a 1/2 dozen at time but this day, I did quite well, only losing one to water, another to a chrysanthemum bush, and gave my last one to my caddy as a thank you gift.
The course caddies were very helpful as they gave us the lines to aim at from the tees, and porovided quidance on appropriate club selection, although i found I had to overrule my caddie a few times.
I struggled with the clubs as they had been loaned to us by Siraj, and topped the ball quite a few times. My caddie, Rabi, was not above reproaching me for my bad shots and, in fairness, was complementary when I managed to hit a good one.
After the golf excursion, which took about 6 hours, Clive and I headed back to the Club to clean up for dinner. We were whisked in the cars to a new locationl which turned out to be Ghazala’s where the ladies were just finishing up their Dholki celebrations.
We came in at the end of the celebration, The ladies had finished the dacning and the tea, and were taking it easy waiting for us to get there and take them home.
The food at Ghazala’s was great as usual. It had been catered and there was a buffet line with Chaat, a local dish, potato pancakes and bun kabob, a little spicy hamburger, like a slider only better.
A little research told me that Chaat is a mixture of potato pieces, crispy fried bread, gram bean and spices. While there are many regional variations of Chaat around the region, the common elements for preparing the Chaats are typically Yoghurt or dahi, chopped onion, coriander, sev (small dried yellow noodles) and Chaat masala.
At the Dholki, Ayesha was the most extravagantly dressed as befitting the bride. There were pillows and chairs all areound and flowers, with lots of roses sprinkled around. Flowers and roses were a common theme at most of the wedding events.
After sampling the food and a few desserts, takeing a few portraits of family and friends, we collected the ladies, we set out in our convoy of cars and then headed to bed to get ready for Thursday and the wedding.