Chetan & Vasundhara Mohan
Two perfect strangers hum along at a tea shop – and let their taste in music and fondness for tea bring them together, into matrimony
Take a cup of tea at a tea shop. Add Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine
Man playing at the shop, which happens to be the favourite song for two strangers. Watch the two strangers look at each other as they hum along. Watch them get married two years later. Now, meet Florida-based Vasundhara Mohan, a content strategist, and Chetan Thapar, a business consultant, the two people brought together by music at a tea shop.
She’s Bengali, he’s Punjabi. Their decision to marry could have been opposed by either of their families, but it wasn’t. At least, not on cross-cultural grounds.
“My parents didn’t have a problem with how we met, or what ensued, but they were concerned about whether the marriage would be successful or not, as we were pretty young and irresponsible back then,” says Vasundhara. Her family had also instilled in her a love for adventure and travel, which had helped broaden her mind to change. “Although I never gave much thought to an ideal man, I now know that I would not have been happy with someone with a closed mind.”
As Chetan’s parents are settled in Shimla, the couple had what they call a ‘Wedding on Wheels’. Their engagement, Punjabi in flavour, was held in Delhi. The sangeet and wedding were a mix of Punjabi and Bengali ceremonies and were held in Dehradun, and the reception was held in Shimla.
Indian weddings are character-
A BOLLYWOOD-STYLE ROMANCE
She is Bengali, he is Punjabi. Their marriage could have been opposed by either of the families, but it wasn’t
The sangeet and wedding were a mix of Punjabi and Bengali ceremonies. So it turned out to be double the fun
ised by never-ending ceremonies and chaos. Bring in rites and rituals from two different communities, and you might imagine chaos squared. But Vasundhara and Chetan were very clear about the kind of wedding they wanted.
“I was particular about having a small wedding and Chetan’s family happily went along with that,” says Vasundhara. “They were also very keen on learning Bengali traditions and we were keen on celebrating the Punjabi way. So it turned out to be double the fun.”
And then there were the clothes! “I wore a Bengali sari during the bou-bhaath [reception], and for the wedding I wore a lehenga simply because I had enough opportunities to wear saris,” says Vasundhara. “I walked in holding paan leaves in front of my face which prevented Chetan from seeing me until I was up close. Chetan entered wearing a Punjabi sehra, but later wore a topor, a Bengali headgear.”
Two years after the wedding, Vasundhara and Chetan still merge their cultures. “As long as both the families are open minded, there are only benefits to this kind of a marriage,” says Vasundhara.