Rhea and Sorabh’s Wedding was a celebration of two wholes, coming together as one
Bucking trends, questioning stereotypes and breaking norms is not the usual way one celebrates a wedding – but perhaps it is one of the aptest ways to announce and commemorate a true marriage – of minds, ideas and ethics.
Not the first for either of them, Rhea and Sorabh’s nuptial ceremonies were minimal on the décor but filled the hearts of every guest with an abundance of joy, warmth and optimism.
We congratulated Rhea and the conversation blossomed into a wonderful discussion on what marriage stands for and what her perspective is. She says, “For the young, marriage is often about romance. But what it really is, is a space where people come together because together they have a purpose in society. It is never and can never be only about two people when so many elements come together through their union. It is the union of two societies and an opportunity for both individuals where they can choose to grow as people.”
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, Rhea says she believes even a marriage needs to rely on the support of a village and that is best achieved via conversations had in and as a community. And so, at the wedding, they decided to do away with the word ‘function’ and replace it with the more meaningful ‘conversation’ she says, “The word ‘functions’ is so mechanical; starting only to see its end at a designated time. But conversations flow, they nourish the mind and they bring light – everything a wedding should stand for. We wanted to evolve from the outdated at our nuptials and because of this, we had the most interesting exchanges.”
There is enlightenment to be found, Rhea says, if we just examine even run-of-the-mill phrases, “You’ll hear someone call their partner their better half which on the surface sounds sweet but the undercurrent is that of a need-meeting strategy. In marriage, you should not come together to ‘complete each other’. Only when you view yourself as a whole can marriage become a place of freedom rather than suffocation.” She elaborates further, “When you call your partner your better half, you take away the equality that each of you deserves and instead insert a tiny sense of competition.”
Rhea’s ideas on partnership and marriage are both progressive and interesting and there’s no surprise that one of her favorite moments at her own wedding was a moment of giving couples food for thought and beginning a possibly life-changing conversation. “While we were trying to introduce the idea of a new way of life through our wedding, we thought it was essential to let our guests reflect and write down one of their own habits that was detrimental to their relationships with their spouse,” she says. A highly unusual tactic for a wedding celebration but perhaps, for many, an opportunity to reflect that may never have come up. Rhea nods, “Perhaps none of these discussions would ever take place in their lives unless they let go of the older approach. When a container is already full, you cannot pour new content into it. Everyone took the time to think, they wrote about it on a piece of paper. Then they were asked to throw it in the bonfire that had been lit, symbolic of letting go.”
Almost every wedding is crafted with great thought and deliberation but guests at Rhea and Sorabh’s had never seen anything like this. Winning everyone over with their kindness, their wisdom, and insight, Rhea says, while their guests were touched, the couple in return was overwhelmed with the affection and support they received. The love and acceptance from their families made their celebration poignant and memorable, “We’re both in our mid-forties so we were a little apprehensive about getting into a marriage, but seeing the love that we received as a couple, was so reassuring. My son was elated! He invited all his friends and each one of them showed up! Sorabh’s mother was so happy. So many of our friends and colleagues who are single came and told us that seeing us get married gave them hope. Because of this, we were sure that we had taken the right step.”
She signs off with a message for those looking for real love, “Love yourself first to be able to find someone who loves you. This is a process of finding love within yourself and once you attain it, you will attract the one who is right for you. View yourself as a whole, not a half; And most importantly, don’t give up!”
Location: Asia Plateau (MRA center), Panchgani
Photography: Payal Kumar