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It came as a surprise to many of his friends, and Hrishi himself admits it all happened rather quickly. He had initially decided on getting married in 2008, but then conceded; once youve decided you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, why waste another day?

Not a surprising statement from a man who, for as long as Ive known him, has been looking for his soul mate almost as fervently as he was chasing his dreams and living his passions (acting, music, travelingæ).

 

How we met

Flashback to three years ago. Hrishi was teaching a 12-Saturday radio/voice training workshop at St Xaviers. He was then the unsuspecting object of many-a-young-students affection. …I was just one of the many girls who had a crush on him, Aanchal admits embarrassed. But, she was perhaps the only one who felt grateful enough (according to Hrishi) or the only one who found the courage (according to her) to pick up the phone and dial his number. That was less than a year ago, by which time Aanchal was a TV show host. She got his number at a party from someone at Star TV (where Hrishi voices the promos). They had a very business-like meeting at the Oshiwara CafÃÆ’© Coffee Day where she gave him a CD of her work. Hours flew past over a few frappes and then there was a lull again.

Until one day, a friend from a production house called him for a short acting assignment in Bombay Talkies. Hrishi walked into the set and the first person he laid his eyes on was Aanchal. …I think it was divine intervention. We were allotted the same make-up room so we could spend a lot of time together, Hrishi recalls. It didnt take Aanchal very long to make space in Hrishis life.

Hrishi was clearly uncertain about bringing in a non-South Indian bride into the family, since he knew his father would have preferred a Tamil Brahmin daughter-in-law. But, they themselves suggested to their eligible son that he spend more time with his good friend Aanchal, a UP Kayasth. This was after they met her on a Diwali trip to Mumbai last year ‚ when both their RJ sons were busy with work and Aanchal kept them company.

Hrishi gave it a thought ‚ and every evening of the next few weeks until one day he just knew.

 

The Proposal

So there they were, sitting in the courthouse in support of a common friend, when Hrishi popped up the question. They were next to St Xaviers College, where Existence first brought them in the same space. It was a nostalgic moment. Emotions were flying about. And, …While I was listening to the proceedings, I felt her stare at me. She was watching me in adoration. And I thought, this girl really loves me. So I just said ‚ I want to marry you. Would you like to marry me? And are you willing to wait another year? I guess, I was just being cautious.

At first, Aanchal thought he was joking, but then having realized that this was the big moment she had been waiting for since the day she saw him walk into class with his dashing kurta-jeans bespectacled look, she just said yes.

Meghna Naidu, Bappi Lahiri, Mansi Scott 
Only a few can, in this flaky world of glitz and glamour, evoke such a response. Even fewer can have Meghna Naidu loan them her house for their wedding guests. Or have celebrity performers such as Bappi Lahiri, Baba Sehgal, Shibani Kashyap, Meet Brothers and Mansi Scott perform at their Sangeet. …The performances were all arranged by Siddharth (Hrishis brother). They are all his friends and they were more than happy to be part of the celebration, the groom-to-be revealed on his last night of bachelorhood, amidst a celebration.

The Bollywood Quotient
And it had its fair share of Bollywood quotient too. The music and the quintessential Yash-Chopra-isque brides-side-versus-grooms-side dance contest. Sandhya Mridul and Suchitra Pillai, Hrishis close friends, and of course, his flamboyant brother Siddharth, were most active on the floor. Sandhya, with help from choreographer friend, Rajeev Goswami, had created an interestingly eclectic mix of Crazy Kiya Re, Urvashi-Urvashi and Sajnaji Vaari Vaari for the troupe on Hrishis side.

Aanchal herself had choreographed the dance item for her troupe of best friends, cousins and brother with three recent hits ‚ Wheres the Party TonightSalaame Ishq and Its Rocking. Later, Hrishi sang Pink FloydU2 and Oasis songs to his guests with his newly-acquired brother-in-law, Abhinav strumming the guitar.

But the most surprising performance that evening had to be Hrishis parents, Radha and V. Kannan shaking a leg to the Bipasha item song from OmkaraBeedi Jalaile.

The Wedding

The wedding rituals for the groom began early with mantras and tying the holy thread in front of the holy fire (preparing the yellow veshti-clad bachelor for Grahasthashram). The bride walked into the mandap half hour later in a traditional wine and gold saree teamed with gold and pearl jewellery. The rituals were performed by a 92-year-old priest who had betrothed a few couples in the Kannan family before.

 Hrishi was always certain that he wanted a Tamilian Brahmin wedding for the sacredness and purity that it symbolizes. Plus, it has fun rituals ‚ such as the Kashi yatra (where the brides father stops the groom from taking sannyas by giving him his daughters hand in marriage) and the bride and groom sit on a swing (oonjal) while his aunts sang, …Aanchalo Angelo ‚ a song composed by his grandmother. Then of course, the more serious activities like the Kanyadaan, the Saptapadi and tying the taali (mangalsutra).

 Hrishi had made up his mind to have a blast at his wedding, and wanted his parents and his guests to enjoy as well. So he had requested the priest to call the parents to the sacred fire only when they were needed so they could mingle with the guests. A happy smile crossing his face, he adds, …And I think everyone enjoyed in their own way.

 

The Outfits

Designer Purvi Modgil had created a cross between a lehenga and a sari in red for Aanchal for the sangeet ceremony, which she wore with a kundan choker set. Hrishi wore a red jodhpuri for which Aanchal had ordered in the fabric from Kanpur. It was tailored by a jodhpuri specialist in Mumbai.

Hrishis mother chose the wedding outfits. She gave Aanchal a red and gold, nine-yard, kanjeewaram silk saree with a blouse in gold brocade. As part of the wedding rituals, she gave Aanchal a ruby and gold set. Early on the wedding morning, she had also sent across the temple jewellery (waist belt, maangteeka, jadaai for the plait and armlets woven in flowers) across to Aanchal.

Hrishi wore the traditional dhoti known as the panchakatcham (it is pre-soaked in turmeric water) which has a red border on one side and green border on the other. And of course, the sacred thread (known as poonal in tamil nadu and janayu in the north).

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