Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Cross-Border Princeton Wedding: From Atlanta to Mumbai

Winston Weinmann sent in the following item:

Last summer Winston Weinmann's daughter Ginny Weinmann '12 got married to Sagar Vijay '13 - twice - first in Atlanta, then a month later in Mumbai India. Ginny is now doing Cambridge University's 12 month MBA program in Englad, while Sagar finishes his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at MIT in "the other Cambridge".

Classmates at the Atlanta Wedding included Bill Stevenson, Jim Tausche, Brink Brinkley, and John Williams. Other Princetonians included Tim Dodson '81, Kathryn Brokaw '82, Winston's sister Mary Virginia Coffman '86 and her husband Peter Coffman '87, Marty Franchot '77, Amelia Baker '79, and a host from the classes of 2012 and 2013. Adam Goldstein '81 joined us for the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. The ceremony was held in our front yard, with elaborate rain plans, thankfully unused.

On the way to India, Winston, wife Brooke, and two of our children spent six days in the Maldives, where Winston's youngest brother, George, has been running an airline. On a commuter flight from the international airport to our resort, south of the equator, the archipelagoes and islands of the Maldives look other-worldly.

We then moved to Mumbai for the wedding festivities. These included elaborate mehndi (henna) decorations on the women (and a few of the guys) over a couple of days, and an all-day ceremony starting at 7 am. No elephants, but but plenty of pageantry. We were told that the form of a Hindu wedding is dependent on three things: where the family is from, their caste, and which Hindi god the guru the family looks to had his affiliation. In our case this was Tamil Nadu, Brahmin, and Vishnu.

Both Winston and Brooke had important roles to play in the Indian ceremony. Winston had the privilege of having Ginny sit on his lap for about a half an hour while he repeated phrases in Sanskrit whispered to him by one of the priests. We were told he was more or less intelligible. A section of the ceremony took place outside, where the groom "decides" to give up on marriage and gets ready to go off to be a monk, carrying an umbrella and a few other necessaries. Winston got to "convince" him of Ginny's charms, this time repeating phrases in Tamil. Experience with the Triangle Club would have been handy.

Several Princetonians were able to join us in Mumbai: Amelia Baker '79, Brink Brinkley and his family-including his youngest daughter Sumner '21, and Pat O'Connell '74 (in photo with Ginny & Sagar), as well as Amy Leenhouts Tait's son Alex Tate '12, and Mitch Nahmias '12.

After the Mumbai visit we took a 13 day trip in northern India with most of the guests who'd come from the U.S. The common tourist route is Dehli, Agra (the Taj Mahal), and Jaipur, the "golden triangle", which we did on the first 7 days. We can highly recommend also visiting Jodhpur, where we stayed at the maharaja's Umaid Bhawan Palace, one wing of which is still occupied by the royal family, and Udaipur, built around a lake. Both cities offer as much to see, do, and shop as the first three, with a less tourist-oriented feel.

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