No question about it , this was the biggest event in our family by a mile or more .We didnt really know how awesome an event this was till it hit us and what a huge responsibility off our shoulders till after it was over !! The aftermath stayed for a long long time .
For Seema it was clearly the biggest milestone of her life and we were extremely happy that eventually she was happy and comfortable with her choice of a life mate ,in Darshan .It wasnt all smooth sailing .We just couldnt hit on the right alliance for her , yet Deepa & I were not unduely perturbed and alot less worried than several families in similar situations may have been .The tripe we used to get out of the marriage web sites left us with a feeling that these sites would be of no use in our search .Yet some people had told us of great alliances being forged in sites such as Bharat Matrimony .We had to keep the search on though ,hope was low.As for Seema , she was quite clear that the responsibility for finding a suitable groom lay squarely on us !!
Eventually it was our astrologer and extended family member Goviettan ( Govindas) who suggested Darshan and arranged a meeting at his house.The wheels finally got moving from then on .After a few meetings between the prospective couple and initailly and understandable
doubts and anxiety the "knot " so to say was tied and the wedding plans sealed with a simple ring ceremony .Goviettan incidently is an excellant astrologer of considerablew repute and I understand has a fairly impressive list of clients who regularly consult him in India and abroad.
The ring ceremony was held at the Eros Club in Charmwood Village .We got great support from Anand Barua , the Club Manager and the event went off in a very cozy manner .Approx 55 of our near & dear relatives attend along with Darshan’s family and friends .Present were a few of Darshan’s relatives from the US who added a great touch to the simple ring ceremony by singing a few hymns.The food , true to Anand Barua’s promise was very good and every one liked it,so also the snacks and the cocktails .As we would experience ,right through all the events laeding up to and including the marriage , people crucially invoved with each event come forward to help way beyond expectations making each event memorable .
The marriage was fixed for 1st January , 2006, an auspicious day not just in astrological terms , but also because it was the start of a New Year , a time for change , a time for new resolutions and a time for refreshing one’s spirits. This also gave Seema and Darshan ample timeto get to know each other … and what they saw of each other only cemented the alliance further . Shirish could also come down from Montreal and like wise Darshan’s sister, who jhad just had a baby, and other family members.Ravi and Mariw couldnt attend as they wetre away in Australia and couldnt get tickets to reach back to India in time , but they were most ably represented by Sandhya and Nicky .For both of them it was a first visit to Delhi , and also an opportunity to be associated with the greater familty .I think they enjoyed themselves very much and we in turn were very glad to have them with us . Mom’s side of the famly was also under represented mainly because most of them were down South , and age wouldnt allow them to travel all the way in the cold .We did however seek every ones blessings and were happy to hear from most of them .We took pains to get hold of as many addresses of the folks Dad & Mom knew well and sent them wedding invitations .For me that was a sacred duty .It was important for me to mention that Seema was the grand daughter of Srimathi & KV Baskaran .Likewise she was the grand daughter of Hyma & CP Ramachandran. We missed Deepa’s Dad very much during this event .He was so fond of the kids and the kids in turn loved their Achachan .
The wedding invitation was probably the simplest wedding card we could pick from the "Card Bazaar" of Chandini Chowk which all of us including Seema was happy with.
The event management firm we decided on was Kumar Brothers, a very good choice as it turned out to be .Kumar was a charcter in his own right and as he said this was a first day first show for him and he wanted it to be very well conducted .He really put his heart and soul into making the run up to the marriage and the marriage itself a much memorable .Kumar also provided a cook , Selvan , who stayed with us with a helper or two for a few days befor ethe wedding .He and the helpers ensured that the gueast and all of us were well taken care off in terms of all meals ,tea coffee et al .We stilll remember the hilarious tea/coffeee order taking with soo many with , so many with out etc ( the with and with out being sugar) ; and we added within .. which meant please keep the beverage from spilling out of the cups !Ramesh & Jaya had "loaned us their house , just next door so we literally had a large extended house for the folks who came over to stay with us .Geetha ,Anand & Reshma , Prithi ,Aruna & Amutiachie ,Jaya & Ramesh , Sandhya & Nicky, Shilpa who moved in to be where the fun was and others .It was fun time .. it was family time … and when itwas all over most said it had been a great time that we all had together .
Deciding the menu was a painstaking task .Kumar had his view and so did several others , including Darshan’s folks .We decided on a mis of south indian and north indian food , and Kumar agreed for a tasting meal for 16 people .Our chief taster and menu approvers where Rashi , Rekha and Srinath .They were absolutely metriculous in terms of precise instructions on what ingredients to add what not too , what to retain & what to drop .Eventually we all decided to stick to South Indian food with a bigger array .That was a great decision and the tasters care and mtericulous detailing resulted in an excellant spread on the wedding day .Some thing that every onetalked at great length about for long after the event .
The wedding it’s self was at the Guruvayoor Temple at Mayur Vihar .This again turned out to be a very apt choice .We had the ground floor hall for the wedding and the first floor for the lunch.Arrangement were simple and elegant and ably supervised by Prem & Promila and Srinath .Srinath was asort of floor manager for us and the principle interface with Kumar’s team .
The prep also included dress and preparing the bride .A task championed by Reshma & Aruna .They did a splendid job and Seema was looking exceptionally good on the day of her wedding .She was truely a resplendent bride .Even I had to catch my breadth when I fisrt saw her all decked out for the wedding .Seema had by her side the " elves " Sandhya & Shilpa who stayed by her side most of the tim e .Not htat Seema needed mch moral support .Bye now she was very comfortable and happy to be with Darshan and it reflected in th3e confidence with which she carried her self on wedding day .
The satisfacxtion of an event well conducted lay sweetly on all of us when we sat back and relaxed after it was over.Every one had chiped in , every one played his or her party .Every body added joy and fun to the occassion .Ram was the life and soul of thehappening s over all and could easily be called the man of the match , baring the bride and the groom off course . I was happy to have severalm of my old friends from Xerox , HCL and IIM B attend .Several attended the wedding most the reception on the 2ndand some both the events .
The reception at The Habitat Centre , a place I had some how wanted for the reception also went off very well .The food and arrangem,ents were well taken care off personally by the Banquets Manager , Shekar , who took personal charge of the event . He also arranged a tastingsession ,where Geetha, Prithi & Deepa where the chief tasters .They did there job with care and attention to detail and as in the case of the wedding lunch , the food was a great hit at the reception .Shekar ensured that it would be so.He was introduced to me by Gagan , our ME Distributor , and soon Shekar and I became good friends .We have remained in touch till recently and untill he relocated to the UK .
Gurpreet Kalkra from our marketing team come off the sick bed as he insited on taking care of the arrangements .This he did in his inimitable stlye andensured every thing went off perfectly .He had lovely music by the ever smiling Hussain , who I had know from earlier evemts .Hussain , performed with person joy and attachment to make the evening splendid .A touch of class was added by thetwo Lancers sent by Col Ajai Singh of the 81st Armoured Regiment . Jaya’s old Regiment .Since sponsoring theChanging of the Colours event at the 81st Armoured Regiment ,ColAjia and I have been good friends .
It was again a memorable event made possible bythe warm hearted contribution of very many good friends and family members .Onthe evening of the reception rain almost played spoilt sport , but Shekar ensures contingency arrangements.In the end the rains stayed away and we had better arrangements for dinner . I was keen on serving good liqour for the reception and this was possible with the hewlp of Pervaiz , Zarina’s husband .Pervaiz and Zarina finally couldnt attend because of viral fever but their help and I’m sure their good wishes were fully with us .We eventually served good Australian white & red wine , Chivas Regal whiskey , Seagrams new VAodka Fling which Pervaiz recommended ,being a Seagrams man ,besides beer for the die hard beer fans .The folks liked this array and also the snacks that went with it .
The night before the wedding was also new years eve .We had thenicest new’s eve possible and loads of family fun .We had Nicky as the music DJ , we had the three "dirty old men" , Srinath ,Jaykumar& Hrichie added fun& humour, Ram had a great movie on Seema put together with all the photos we could rustle up .Sheilachi,Ammuthiachie ,Shyachi & Aruna formed the "Kottaka" sisters quartet and sang as only they can .It was fun fun all the way .We even jogged along , holding each other’s waist ,as a winding train .And so we broke in the new year and set the stage for Seema’s wedding .