Hari, a 30-year-old taxi driver, lives in a small village near the town of Dharamsala, in the Himalayan foothills of India. His father is a poor farmer. For generations, people like him have scraped a living by farming small parcels of terraced land. But not anymore.
India is developing at a breakneck pace, and Dharamsala is a special town. The Dalai Lama lives here and his presence draws visitors from around the world. The city comprises an unusual mix of foreigners, exile Tibetans and native Indians. Hari makes a good living driving his cab, and he excels at it. He speaks some English, is outspoken, opinionated and funny, and is always ready with a wisecrack or home-grown insight.
Now Hari is getting married. To a girl he has never met. Her name is Suman. Two years ago, his father arranged the match. Hari has only ever had one glimpse of his future wife. Her face was covered and all he could tell was that she was very small. Initially reluctant, he finally agreed to the marriage to keep his father happy.
Tradition dictates that Hari will see his bride only after the wedding. But Hari has found another way to get to know her: on the mobile phone. For the past two months, Hari and Suman have spoken to each other every day. He teases her and tells her that he loves her, but at heart he is nervous about finally meeting her.
Meanwhile, wedding preparations are afoot and pre-wedding rituals conducted. Family members congregate every evening to sing and dance. Hari gets drunk with his mates. On the day of the wedding, the entire village gathers to celebrate the happy occasion.
Hari and Suman begin their new life together in their small one-room home. What will the future hold for them in a country that is undergoing massive social and cultural change? Will weddings like theirs be a thing of the past? How will India's age-old traditions survive modernization and globalization?
- Ritu SarinProducer/Co-Director
- Tenzing SonamCo-Director