Heena & De­clan Cahill

A ro­mance made in in­vest­ment bank­ing heaven: how a Sikh girl and a Bri­tish boy struck a fine bal­ance, com­bin­ing a white wed­ding with a lav­ish In­dian cer­e­mony

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - Wedding Special -

Ial­ways as­sumed that I would have a ‘white’ wed­ding, with dresses and veils and a sim­ple church cer­e­mony. How did I come to marry a woman who was not dressed in white?” won­ders a very Bri­tish De­clan Cahill, who mar­ried Heena Rand­hawa in a typ­i­cal Sikh wed­ding last year. “The an­swer is that I fell in love with some­one really spe­cial so I didn’t mind the re­li­gious and cer­e­mo­nial dif­fer­ences, or that she speaks a dif­fer­ent lan­guage; in fact I cel­e­brated it,” he says.

For Heena and De­clan, it all be­gan on a rare sunny day in Lon­don, at an in­vest­ment bank where they worked. There was no time wasted in weigh­ing pros and cons once they re­alised they were in love. Be­fore they knew it, they were mar­ried.

“I knew he was ‘the one’ quite soon!” says Heena, talk­ing about the first few months of their re­la­tion­ship. “Since we both trav­elled ex­ten­sively and lived abroad while grow­ing up, we haven’t really had to bat­tle any bar­ri­ers about cul­tural up­bring­ing even af­ter be­ing mar­ried.”

Their wed­ding in In­dia, against the gor­geous back­drop of the Neem­rana Fort, is some­thing straight out of fairy­tales, where the un­con­ven­tional groom fits right in. “I thought he rocked ev­ery out­fit we picked,” says Heena, “The only prob­lem we faced while shop­ping was that ev­ery­thing looked great


A glimpse of what De­clan likes to call ‘Wol­ly­wood’ – a white man danc­ing to Bol­ly­wood songs on him.”

Danc­ing with his best men to what he likes to call “Wol­ly­wood”, or “a white man do­ing a Bol­ly­wood num­ber”, De­clan kicked off the fes­tiv­i­ties in style, making it the best ex­change of vows he and his fam­ily had ever at­tended. “The wed­ding day will al­ways be some­thing I will re­mem­ber, from hav­ing a tur­ban tied tightly around a head that was nurs­ing a few whiskeys from the night be­fore, to small stolen mo­ments like se­cretly hold­ing hands dur­ing the rit­u­als,” he says, crack­ing the code of the core of In­dian mar­riages – the laugh­ter, the hang­overs and the im­per­fect danc­ing.

Asked what was the one thing he would re­mem­ber of the day she walked to the man­dap, De­clan an­swers sim­ply, “Just think­ing that I was the luck­i­est man alive.”

Their wed­ding in In­dia against the back­drop of the Neem­rana Fort is some­thing you would con­sider straight out of a fairy­tale

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