How they Wed!
Ameeta Seth, Entrepreneur Vibhor Sharma, Banker
Ameeta Seth and Vibhor Sharma were childhood buddies. They went to Modern School, New Delhi together and as she puts it, “I definitely had a quiet crush on this good looking and intelligent guy.” Their friendship continued till both went to different colleges. She moved to the US and he got into St Stephen’s College, New Delhi. They met again much later when she was working as an associate in her father’s cigar company Cingari and he was a CA, working with Grant Thornton.
She rewinds, “We met at a common friend’s wedding. Both of us were dating someone else. But we exchanged glances. He fell in love with me and asked me out.”
He states, “She was the first girl I ever had a crush on. She is such a pure source of energy. She can light up any room she walks into. I have loved our long hours of telephone conversations, some lasting through the night, the long drives and her putting on make-up in the car. She still does that.” But what he loved most about Ameeta was the fact that “she is such an honest and straightforward girl. What you see is what you get.”
She remembers: “We were great pals and we dated each other for three and a half years. Our families were also friends with each other. We had grown up together and had many friends in common. We partied together and had a great time.” She loves him for being “such a gentleman. He is so good with my family, so sorted, quiet and intelligent.” But, as they say, “Our close pals who went to school with us had disbelief written on their faces when they realised we were getting married.” But ultimately opposites always attract!
It was the most romantic proposal ever – one that happened on the spur of the moment. He tells the tale: “We were in Devigarh for a friend’s wedding. The sangeet had just ended and we were driving to Udaivilas to meet her dad. She was by my side and it suddenly dawned on me that I just had to spend the rest of my life with her.” So when they reached, he met her father, cigar baron, Chetan Seth, and asked for Ameeta’s hand. Vibhor called up her mother, her sister, his parents and his brother. “My brother specially as he is older than me and still not married. I told him, boss, relax, I am taking the stress off you!” He then asked Ameeta to go for a walk with him. She wondered why her father was so excited. “We were walking under a lovely moon and Vibhor proposed,” she says.
“The engagement was a very personal affair. Our families and a few very close friends were witness to us exchanging rings,” recalls Ameeta. “And then we all drove to a night-club and danced the night away,” adds Vibhor.
It was a very stylish function. The one twist in the tale was “we decided to drive down to Jaipur the weekend before the wedding with 120 of our best friends and family members to enjoy this special moment with the people we had grown up with and loved,” says Vibhor. The wedding entourage painted the Pink City red. Ameeta adds, “Sanju (dad’s great friend), who owns 1135 AD in Amer Fort, hosted an evening for us. There were mogras everywhere, fragrant ittars filled the air, you could see the stars from the courtyard and the music was magical.”
The mehendi function was held in a carnival setting; the wedding followed an Asian theme. The duo took their vows at her father’s farmhouse in the presence of their very near and dear ones. The reception had the A-listers of Delhi and Mumbai in attendance. “We had people fly in from all across the globe,” they state.
Now married and very happy to be together, the much-in-love couple laughs. Ameeta says, “We have known each other all our life. We are aware of all our likes and dislikes so I think Vibhor and I are just loving playing ‘Ghar! Ghar!”. He adds: “Marriage to me is about finding things you can enjoy doing together.”
Akanksha Arora, Gemologist Tarang Arora, Jeweller
Akanksha Jagwani was 18 and Tarang Arora was 21 when they first met. Their paths crossed in Jaipur because of their younger sisters.Akanksha’s little sister, Astha, and Tarang’s younger sibling, Tanvi, were childhood friends. Akanksha recalls, “We used to drop the girls off at each other’s homes, though at that point he never really liked me nor did he look at me in that sense.”
A chance chat on MSN set the romance rolling. “I was in London and she was in Mexico and our first chat lasted three hours. For the longest period, we had a long-distance relationship,” Tarang remembers.
When they met again in Jaipur, their similar backgrounds brought them closer. Akanksha recalls, “We had common friends and found that being together was great fun.” Tarang adds, “Though brought up in Jaipur, she has also lived in Mumbai and Mexico. So she has a cosmopolitan disposition, but can also settle down to a small-town life.”
In London, though he was very busy overseeing the Amrapali store at Selfridges and also the store that they had set up with Abu Jani–Sandeep Khosla, Tarang felt homesick. His long-distance chats with Akanksha, who by then was in India, kept him going. “My parents kept suggesting that we should get married. I knew that we would be happy together.” So he returned to Jaipur and one day invited her out to Nahargarh Fort, close to the city. “There he was,” Akanksha says, “right outside the gates of the fort, on his knees, a lovely ring in his hand.” Tarang blushes as he admits, “That was quite a romantic moment.”
A family affair, though half of Jaipur was there, the engagement was an elegant event – quite traditional, full of flowers, music, good food and lots of warmth. “We were engaged for nine months that were spent just preparing for the wedding, which was a grand affair,” they remember.
Between them both the families knew the entire city. He says it was a dream to get married in Jaipur: “The lawns of Raj Mahal, that still belong to the erstwhile royal family, were the venue for the wedding. We converted the lawns into a very Rajputana set. Samir Wheaton, a set designer, created some really outrageously ornate concepts. All the trees were lit. There were candles all over. It was very beautiful.”
Akanksha recalls, “We really wanted to let our hair down and dance, so there were two sangeets. Then there was a musical night at Sisodiya Lawns where some famous folk groups of Rajashtan performed. That evening was so ethereal.”
After more than three years of being together, Tarang and Akanksha are revelling in their togetherness. He admits, “She is so close to my family, works in the factory with the designers, consults the marketing team, stands next to me at shows. She is a true soulmate.” Akanksha loves Tarang for being such a supportive husband: “I got married when I was 21 and I think we have grown up together.”
Rifka Ahmad, Hypnotherapist Khodu Irani, Restaurateur
Rifka (Ahmad) met Khodu Irani through her mother Naina Balsaver Ahmad at a party. They hit it off instantly. “I was to leave next month for Delhi but I changed my mind,” she says and instead shuttled between Mumbai and Pune, worked at an agency, studied hypnotherapy and finally settled down in Pune. What she loved about Khodu was that “he was such a mad Bawa. He knew how to live it up.” Yet the clincher was “his love for animals. He would shelter strays in his restaurant. Even now there are eight dogs that live in his nightclub’s backyard.”
Khodu also found her great fun: “Rifka was easy to go out with. She is an intelligent girl. She helps people sort out their emotional issues through past-life regression. I found that so cool.”
Khodu felt he had known Rifka forever. “We lived-in for nearly five years, so we were practically married.” Yet, even in a live-in relationship where you tend to take each other for granted there were many romantic moments they still cherish. Rifka remembers their trips together. “We would end up doing the craziest things!”
Rifka laughs, “I proposed to him. I said, ‘Marry me or else’. And, he agreed. There was nothing romantic about it,” she declares dramatically. He agrees equally dramatically. “I was into that boy thing of no commitment even though I felt practically married to her.” She relives the day: “We were at High Spirits (a nightclub run by Khodu) and I popped the question.” Khodu admits in retrospect, “I am glad she took the initiative and took things ahead.”
The family prepared for a very elegant engagement. “Everything was pastel and beige. The music was perfect and the ambience serene,” recalls Rifka. It ended with a wild all-night party at the club.
Rifka rewinds, “Dad (Naina’s husband, Akbar Ahmad) gave me a great wedding. I just remember it as one long dance party.” The green, sprawling farm got converted into a very ornate-tented space with a dance floor, the longest-ever bar and a resplendent sitting room. The driveway was bedecked with mashaals and candles; the aroma of the cuisine from the famed Rampur kitchens filled the air. He remembers: “I had an entourage of 60 people from Pune who had come for the wedding. They had to be escorted out of the farm at seven in the morning after the pre-wedding party night. The entire wedding was such a contrast to the formal affair we had earlier in Pune. The ceremony itself was very traditional and full of warmth.”
A baby is on the way within less than two years of wedlock, but Khodu says, “We feel as if we have been man and wife for more than seven years already. I am really busy trying to bring in an Olive to Pune in association with A.D. Singh. But I love the thought of being a dad.”
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