Jan­havi Sa­mant & Shan Mo­ham­mad

The couple wed in 2006, have two chil­dren, and still can’t agree on how they ended up with three cer­e­monies when they’d planned on hav­ing only one

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - Wedding Special -

Shan Mo­ham­mad: I was against any re­li­gious cer­e­mony and I don’t like the loud­ness of a typ­i­cal In­dian wed­ding. I thought we’d reg­is­ter and move on with life. How did we have three shaadis?

Jan­havi Sa­mant: I’ll tell the story. My mum was pres­sur­ing Shan to get mar­ried. My dad had passed away re­cently and she be­lieved that a wed­ding, if any, should hap­pen within a year.

SM: Her mum knew I was hes­i­tant!

JS: Be­cause you were really putting it off. She wanted the Spe­cial Mar­riage Act for us as she did not trust Mus­lim law’s fairness to women.

SM: There’d be a re­cep­tion even­tu­ally.

JS: My in-laws be­lieved they had a so­cial duty to hold one. I wanted a Marathi wed­ding – but only be­cause I wanted to dress up. But then, for the court wed­ding, one cousin de­cided to come along. Mum said she’d come too. Shan’s par­ents said they’d travel from Bhi­lai for it. All th­ese rel­a­tives and friends started say­ing “We’re also com­ing”, and sud­denly 20 peo­ple were com­ing to “see us” get­ting mar­ried in court. My sis­ter made me buy a sari. My aunt or­gan­ised lunch at her place. With­out any of us re­al­is­ing, it had be­come a cel­e­bra­tion.

SM: Then my mother came into the pic­ture.

JS: She took me aside and said “You’re get­ting the cel­e­bra­tion you want, but I have one son. He won’t want a re­li­gious cer­e­mony, could you con­vince him?”

SM: So, now there was a nikaah in Ker­ala where my fam­ily is.

JS: Which was planned ac­cord­ing to a Hindu mahu­rat. My moth­erin-law said, “Tum log kuch achcha mahu­rat dekh lo”. And 20 Sa­mants booked train tick­ets to Cochin.

SM: We knew they had never been to Ker­ala.

JS: Shan’s mother was keen to show her fam­ily's sup­port. They planned a city tour, put us up at a nice ho­tel. We didn’t hire a mehendi­wali. So two of Shan’s sis­ters did it; one hand looked dif­fer­ent from the other. It was won­der­ful how they ac­cepted me. For the Marathi wed­ding, my fam­ily tried to make them com­fort­able too. The most un­con­ven­tional thing we did was to have my mother, a widow, give me away.

SM: Af­ter all th­ese years the best mem­ory was the feel­ing of sur­prise. I’m the kind of guy who goes to wed­dings for the food. So, be­ing on the other side and feel­ing happy was sur­pris­ing!

JS: You were prob­a­bly smil­ing out of em­bar­rass­ment! My favourite mem­ory is from the civil cer­e­mony. Af­ter we’d reg­is­tered, they made us sit on th­ese throne-like chairs and Shan’s fa­ther came and gave him a big, tight hug. That was very emo­tional – I missed my own fa­ther. I en­joyed my wed­ding. Not too many In­dian brides can say that.

The most un­con­ven­tional thing we did was to have my mother, a widow, give me away

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