Monday, 18 November 2013
A friend of my daughter's is getting married, aged just 13. We get invited to the wedding, in the beautiful manicured grounds of a Japanese temple, and I meet her mother Ti (pronounced Tai), who is Malaysian or Burmese or something - a soft-spoken, fiercely intellectual, Aung San Suu Kyi type - and a portly, mustachioed Indian man whom I take to be her father. Part of the ceremony involves the bride in a sort of ritualized wrestling with her bridesmaids, who are dark, heavyset girls. When the groom, a smart, bookish-looking boy no older than the bride, is finally produced, I am surprised that he is white. But later at the reception I discover in conversation that the bride's father died when she was very young, and that her stepfather, with whom she has lived for years, is also white. He couldn't be there for some reason; the Indian man whom I had taken for her father is in fact the mother's lawyer, a family friend.