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

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - Wedding Special -

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-


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.

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