My own experience of trying to become a parent has also had its challenges and we have shared many moments of joy, fear and despair as we wondered if we would ever hold our babies in our arms. Well, Siobhan is going to have those arms very full very soon as she is expecting twins!
Siobhan chose the Bollywood theme for its sense of fun and colour and joie de vivre and its execution was just my (western) interpretation of India and Bollywood – no cultural appropriation intended! Helpfully, Siobhan is pregnant with girl/boy twins so I was able to indulge my inner sexist with a hot pink and hot blue colour scheme. I bought huge swathes of organza to drape around the soon-to-be Mum's (very cool and spacious) apartment as well as lanterns and tissue flower pom poms – chosen to represent the marigolds that are ubiquitous at Indian festivals.
(Click to enlarge photo. Photos by Caroline Serrano Tran and yours truly).
I hung a poster of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth, prosperity, light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm) partly for the glorious colours and partly because I love that she is associated with fertility and abundance. These, and her other outstanding attributes, are all that I wish for the beautiful babies about to join us in the world.
The food was easy and fun – a visit to a great Indian restaurant provided much of the feast, generous friends brought cake and curry puffs and a couple of trips to an Indian supermarket provided the rest.
In honour of the babies I also included lots of cute elephants (Indian elephants, naturally) which added to the general sense of fun. Games were played, Bhangra music was listened to (and in some cases danced to) and many beautiful gifts were given.
To round off a very special day we had a Valakaappu ceremony. Literally translated, Valakaappu means bangles and bracelets and a really sweet part of the ceremony is the adorning of the pregnant woman with bangles as a blessing for the Mother-to-be and her baby/babies. We all gave Siobhan a bangle together with a wish for her babies and needless to say it got a little bit emotional.
A lovely day for a lovely friend. How wonderful that making someone I love happy should be the very thing that makes me happy too. Ain’t life grand?