It couldn’t be more idyllic – We were all gathered on what is probably one of the nicest stretches of beach in Kenya at Lantana Galu Beach Resort – powder white sand (the kind that squeaks under your feet), and a lovely azure sea.Rumour had it that the pithi mixture consisted of rotten fruits and vegetables, rotten fish heads, remains of the kitchen bin, baked beans, various meat, phlegm (yes phlegm!) and of course turmeric. Since we have known Naeem for a year or so, he has always been the calm, collected one. Call him the IceMan. Doesn’t flinch at much. However today was a different story. He was looking shifty. He was looking nervous. Eyes darting from side to side looking out for all the mates he had done over at their weddings. Despite the cool Indian Ocean breeze, if one looked closely, you could even perhaps spot a bead or two of sweat on his forehead. On Naeem’s left sat his beautiful bride Aisleen who endured a more civilised version of this tradition. From our premium front row seats, we watched this drama unfold. 3 of Naeem’s mates (presumably those he had screwed over during their weddings) lifted up a very vivid pink bucket full of the aforementioned mixture right over Naeem’s head. Still somewhat unsuspecting, he’s politely smiling at the guests as they come to greet him and apply the pithi (the traditional version) on him. And SPLASHHH – the bucket is emptied out amidst huge uproar and laughter from the boys and a ‘ewwwwww’ from the girls. Naeem is nearly gagging now, his top half completely covered in this baby-poo coloured mixture which actually smelt 10 times worse than baby-poo. Due to our close style of shooting, we had a little splashback and boy did it stink! Unconfirmed reports suggested that Naeem spent over half an hour in the shower trying to clean every orifice thoroughly before his big day the next day!
The evening before, we’d had a crazy photoshoot with Aisleen & Naeem. Everything was stacked against us. The tide was at it’s fullest, very strong winds, and to top it off, it started raining half-way into the shoot. But being the troopers that they are, they were determined to carry on and their love shone through all the elements. We were actually getting thrown around by the waves during the shoot but it turned out to be one of the most memorable and enjoyable ones we’ve ever had despite nearly dunking our gear into the ocean twice. The actual wedding day was spectacular – a short but meaningful clifftop wedding overlooking the sea, with the rain teasing us but eventually staying away. Aisleen looked beautiful as she walked up the aisle in her white dress and Naeem’s reaction was priceless. There was a glint in his eye when he saw her through the crowd. The same glint I saw in their eyes when I met them a year ago at Artcaffe and they described their perfect wedding. It would be a destination wedding at the Indian Ocean and their priority was to ensure that the guests had a lot of fun. And they surely did! Aisleen & Naeem are so in love, and literally up for anything. I love that spirit in them. We couldn’t be happier for them!
Thank you Aisleen & Naeem, thank you to your friends and family for making us feel like a part of your wedding celebrations. One Love!