April - May 2004
Marriages of the Century : Sons of Subrata Roy Sahara
They say that marriages are made in Heaven. Well some wise man definitely said
that, but when you have a wedding which is carried out in a "Heaven -like" manner,
literally, this is what happened recently in Lucknow with the grand wedding ceremonies
of Shri Sushanto and Shri Seemanto, sons of Ms. Swapna Roy, Dy. Managing Worker
and Shri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman of Sahara India
Pariwar, that were solemnized at Sahara Shaher, on the 10h of February, 2004
and the 14th of February, 2004, respectively the curtains are finally down
on the 'Marriages of the Century' - the most glittering extravaganza ever witnessed
with a dazzling spectacle of color and glitz.
Weds Sushanto & Seemanto Roy, With Their Parents & Respective
Roy Dancing With Vivek Oberoi
In His Baraat
For the past four days, Sahara Shaher was the most prominent address of opulence
and grandeur, with the imposing statue of 'Bharat Maa' brightly lit and standing
tall and stately against the picturesque background and surroundings.The sheer
brilliance of artistry made for a sensuous experience to be lived and treasured
over and over again. It gave the impression as though time had come to a standstill
and the eyes of the entire nation had riveted towards the festivities of the
More than 11,000 invitees from all over the country and abroad graced the
occasion, which included more than 1500 VVIPs/VIPs. Even as they were led through
to the main entrance gate, the esteemed invitees were given a warm and enthusiastic
welcome by Shri Subrata Roy Sahara himself, along with the CM of Uttar Pradesh,
Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shri Amitabh Bachchan, Shri Anil Ambani, Shri Kapil
Dev and Ms. Aishwarya Rai.
Grandoise Sahara Shaher, Lit Up
At Night, During the Festivities
Lining Up In The Auditorium To
Bless & Congratulate The Newly Weds
|The gracious & esteemed presence of luminaries
such as Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India; Shri
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Hon'ble Vice- President of India; Shri Lal Krishna
Advani, Hon'ble Dy. Prime Minister of India; Shri Bal Thackeray, Shiv Sena
Chief - who left Mumbai after almost a decade to be a part of the celebrations,
truly illumined the ambience of Sahara Shaher and further embellished the
occasion. Never before had one witnessed such a huge gathering of stars
descending at Lucknow, which included politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists,
cine celebrities, sports & media persons and leaders from various other
fields, prominent among whom were as follows -
|Film & TV Personalities -
Smt. Saira Bano & Shri Dilip Kumar - Actress / Actor; Smt. Jaya & Shri
Amitabh Bachchan - Actress / Actor; Smt Hema Malini - Actress; Shri Dharmendra
- Actor; Ms Aishwarya Rai - Actress; Ms. Kareena Kapoor - Actress; Ms.
Rani Mukherjee - Actress; Ms. Shilpa Shetty - Actress; Ms. Manisha Koirala
- Actress; Ms. Urmila Matondkar - Actress; Ms. Sharmila Tagore - Actress;
Ms. Asha Parekh - Actress; Smt. Sridevi & Shri Boney Kapoor - Actress
/ Producer; Ms. Dimple Kapadia - Actress; Shri Anil Kapoor - Actor; Shri
Raj Babbar - Actor, Shri Ajay Devgan - Actor; Shri Jackie Shroff - Actor;
Shri Sunil Shetty - Actor; Shri Jeetendra Kapoor - Actor; Shri Prem Chopra
- Actor; Shri Amrish Puri - Actor; Shri Abhishek Bachchan - Actor; Shri
Aftab Shivdasani - Actor, Shri Sanjay Kapoor - Actor; Shri Feroz Khan -
Actor; Shri Fardeen Khan - Actor; Shri Tushar Kapoor - Actor; Shri Shekhar
Suman - Actor; Shri Suresh Oberoi - Actor; Shri Vivek Oberoi - Actor, Shri
Kadar Khan - Actor; Ms. Padmini Kolhapure - Actress; Ms. Aruna Irani -
Actress; Shri Asrani - Ms. Mahima Choudhary - Actress; Ms. Sonali Bendre & Shri
Goldie Behl - Director; Ms. Bhagyashree & Shri Himalaya; Actress; Ms.
Celina Jaitly - Actress; Ms Lara Dutta - Actress; Ms. Yukta Mookhey - Actress;
Ms. Nandita Das - Actress; Shri Arjun Rampal - Actor; Shri Javed Jaffrey
- Actor; Shri Yash Chopra - Producer/Director; Shri Subhash Ghai - Producer/Director;
Shri Ramesh Sippy - Producer/Director; Shri Rakesh Roshan - Producer/Director;
Smt. Smita Thackeray - Producer, Shri Sanjay Khan - Actor / Producer; Shri
Bharat Shah - Producer; Shri Muzaffar Ali - Producer/Director; Shri Raj
Kr. Santoshi - Director; Shri Aziz Mirza - Director; Shri Shyam Benegal
- Director; Shri Govind Nihalani - Director;Shri Prakash Jha - Director;
Shri Lawrence D'souza - Director; Shri Prem Sagar - Producer; Shri Ramesh
Talwar - Director; Shri Ravi Chopra - Director; Shri Satish Kaushik - Director;
Shri Manmohan Shetty - Producer; Shri Rituparno Ghosh - Director; Ms. Aparna
Sen - Director; Shri Anu Malik - Music Director; Shri Adesh Srivastava
- Music Director, Shri Bappi Lahiri - Music Director; Shri Nitin Mukesh
- Singer; Shri Sonu Nigam - Singer; Shri Pankaj Udhas - Singer; Shri Udit
Narayan - Singer; Shri Babul Supriyo - Singer; Ms. Usha Mangeshkar - Singer;
Ms. Anuradha Paudwal - Singer; Shri Gajendra Singh; Ms. Rakshanda Khan & Ms.
Ruby Bhatia - T.V. Artistes.
Amitabh Bachan & Subrata
Dancing In The Baraat
Saurav Ganguly Enjoying
With Sachin Tendulkar & Ravi Shastri
|· Sports Personalities - Ms. Nadia Comaneci - Renowned
Gymnast, Mr. Edwin Moses - Renowned Athlete, Eminent Members and Mr. Iain
Banner, CEO of Laureus World Sports Academy. Shri Jagmohan Dalmiya - President,
BCCI; Shri Bishan Singh Bedi -Cricket; Shri Kapil Dev - Cricket, Shri Ravi
Shastri - Cricket; Shri Sachin Tendulkar - Cricket, Shri Sourav Ganguly
- Cricket, Shri Leander Paes - Tennis, Shri Rahul Dravid - Cricket, Shri
Virendra Sehwag - Cricket, Shri Mohd Kaif - Cricket, Shri Yuvraj Singh
- Cricket, Shri Zaheer Khan - Cricket, Shri Hemang Badani - Cricket, Shri
Ashish Nehra - Cricket; Shri Parthiv Patel - Cricket, Shri Ajay Jadeja
- Cricket, Shri Amit Bhandari - Cricket; Shri Dhanraj Pillay, Shri Baljit
Singh Dhillon, Shri Baljit Singh Saini, Shri Gagan Ajit Singh, Shri Prabhjot
Singh and other members of the Indian Hockey team, Shri P.K. Banerjee -
Football, Shri Chunni Goswami - Football; Shri Abhinav Bindra - Shooting;
Ms. Anjali Bhagawat- Shooting.
|Media Personalities - Shri Subhas Chandra - Zee TV; ; Ms.
Shobhna Bhartiya - Hindustan Times; Shri Arun Purie - India Today, Shri
H.R. Shah - TV Asia, U.S.; Shri Mahendra Mohan Gupta - Dainik Jagaran;
Shri Prannoy Roy - NDTV, Shri Peter Mukherjea - Star T.V., Shri Prabhu
Chawla - India Today; Shri John Elliot - Fortune Magazine; Shri Markand
Adhikari - SABe TV; Shri Kunal Dasgupta - Sony TV, Shri Rajat Sharma -
Sr. TV Journalist, Shri Pradeep Guha - Times of India, Shri Ashok Agarwal
- Amar Ujala; Shri Ashok Dasgupta - Aaj Kal; Shri Prabhash Joshi - Jansatta;
Shri Chandan Mitra - Pioneer; Shri Girish Agarwal - Dainik Bhaskar; Ms.
Nalini Singh, Shri Alok Mehta - Outlook; Shri Saeed Naqvi; Shri Kamleshwar;
Shri Manoj Raghuvanshi, Shri Deepak Chaurasia, Shri Rajeev Shukla; Shri
Raghu Rai - Famous photo journalist, Shri Manohar Sham Joshi - Writer.
Subrata Roy Sahara
With Deputy PM
LK Advani and Ravi Shankar Prasad
Subrata Roy Sahara
In Conversation With
India's PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee
|The occasion of the marriage of Shri Sushanto and Shri Seemanto
is now indelibly entrenched in everybody's thought. The grand event began
with the pre-wedding ceremonies of Shri Sushanto and Ms. Richa, the daughter
of Lucknow-based Shri Aamesh Ahuja of the Ahuja family, on the 9th of February,
2004. The Nanhi Mukh ceremony of Shri Sushanto was conducted at Swapna
Kuti, the grand residence of Ms. Swapna Roy and Shri Subrata Roy Sahara.
This was followed by the Haldi Rasam of Shri Sushanto when he was adorned
in rich turmeric paste. In the evening there were a host of activities
at the Fun World Ground including a Housie session.
|On the 10th of February, 2004, at 5 P.M. in the evening,
the baaraat proceeded by car from Swapna Kuti and then assembled at the
Helipad and from there it proceeded towards the auditorium, the site of
the ceremony on foot. The baaraat was welcomed at the auditorium gate.
The marriage ceremony commenced in the auditorium at 11 P.M. followed by
the Mala Badal (exchange of garlands) and the rituals. Shri Amar Singh
and Ms. Swapna Roy along with other family members & relatives were
there on stage.
|The following day, the entire ceremony shifted to the bride's
house with the welcoming ceremony of Shri Sushanto's bride for Baasi Biye
in the morning, followed by Bidaai in the evening and Bou Baran at Swapna
Kuti. The Fun World activities continued today also.
|On the 12th of February, 2004, the Samuhik Vivah Samaroh
witnessed the kanyadaan of 101 under-privileged girls of the society belonging
to the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian communities that was successfully
conducted, as an emotional endeavour of Sahara India Pariwar. On this occasion,
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Hon'ble President of India sent 101 floral bouquets
as 'Aashirwad' for each of the couples.The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh,
Hon'ble Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav ji graced the occasion with his august
presence as the Chief Guest and inaugurated the ceremony with the breaking
of the traditional coconut and lighting of the ceremonial lamp, witnessed
by thousands of people, which included esteemed personalities like Lady & Lord
Swraj Paul, Shri Amar Singh, Ms. Ritu Nanda, Ms. Jaya Bachchan, Ms. Aishwarya
Rai, Ms. Nadira Babbar, Shri Abhishek Bachchan, Ms. Shweta Nanda, Shri
Bishwajit, Ms. Rachna Bannerji, Shri Prosenjit, Shri Sonu Nigam and eminent
member of the Laureus World Sport Academy, Ms. Nadia Comaneci.
|His Excellency, Shri Vishnukant Shastri, Hon'ble
Governor of Uttar Pradesh also graced the occasion and did the first 'Daan'
through Pandit ji. At 8 A.M. in the morning, all the 101 brides arrived
in their resplendent ceremonial attire and assembled in front of an imposing
statue of 'Bharat Maa'. At 10:30 A.M. all the Baaraatis arrived at the
Sahara Shahar gate. The arrangements for the marriages were made at 101
mandaps that were set up in the lush greenery in the foreground of the
'Bharat Maa' chabi and the Saamuhik Vivah ceremony began at 11 A.M. A photo-session
for the couples was followed by a grand, sumptuous lunch for them and their
families. On this solemn occasion, Ms. Swapna Roy, the mother of Shri Sushanto
and Shri Seemanto, in an emotional speech, strongly proposed that every
year we should organize the Kanyadaans of 101 girls. The proposal met with
everyone's applause and was unanimously accepted.
|On the same day, during the afternoon, the Bou-Bhat of Shri
Sushanto's bride was performed at Swapna Kuti that was bedecked in splendour.
This was followed by a grand Bahu Aagaman Sangeet for the brides of Shri
Sushanto and Shri Seemanto at the auditorium, with the participation of
eminent artistes and the family members along with a number of distinguished
personalities from various fields.
|On the 14th of February, 2004, the younger son of Ms. Swapna
Roy and Shri Subrata Roy Sahara, Shri Seemanto entered into the holy bond
of matrimony with Ms. Chandani, the daughter of Lt. Col. Malkiyat Singh
Toor at Sahara Shaher, Lucknow with the same pomp and revelry as was visible
during Shri Sushanto's wedding.The pre-wedding ceremonies commenced on
the 13th of February, 2004 with the Nanhi Mukh ceremony of Shri Seemanto
at Swapna Kuti, followed by the Haldi Rasam. In the evening, the activities
at Fun World continued.The evening activities included a Ladies Sangeet
session with Shri Seemanto's bride, who was dressed in all her bridal finery,
at Hotel Clarks Awadh, with the relatives of the bride and the groom, participating
in spontaneous verve and vitality.
|In the same sequence as during the marriage of Shri Sushanto,
the baaraat proceeded by car on the 14th of February, 2004 from Swapna
Kuti at 5 P.M. and reached the Helipad reception. From there, it proceeded
towards the auditorium on foot where the baaraat was given a grand welcome
at the auditorium gate. The marriage ceremony commenced in the auditorium
at 11:55 P.M. followed by the Mala Badal (exchange of garlands). As was
during the wedding of Shri Sushanto, Shri Amar Singh and Ms. Swapna Roy
along with other family members & relatives were there on stage.
|The following day, was the welcoming ceremony of Shri Seemanto's
bride for Baasi Biye in the morning at 11 A.M. at hotel Clark's Awadh.
At 5:30 P.M. in the evening, was the Bidaai at the same venue. This was
followed by the traditional Bou Baran or the welcoming ceremony of the
bride at Swapna Kuti. The Bou-Bhat of Shri Seemanto's bride took place
the next day at 1:30 P.M. at Swapna Kuti. On the 15th and the 16th of February,
2004, activities at the Fun World continued in a spirit of fun and frolic
|The ceremonial attire for Shri Sushanto was designed by Shri
Rohit Bal and for Shri Seemanto by Shri Subyasachi, who also designed all
the bridal finery for Ms. Richa and Ms. Chandni.
|During both the marriages of Shri Sushanto on the 10th of
February and Shri Seemanto on the 14th of February, there was absolutely
foolproof and watertight security measures within the premises, at the
gate and all along the outside perimeter of the premises. The security
measures ensured that entry was strictly on invitation with each and every
corner under close scrutiny. There was constant to and fro movement, between
the airport and the marriage premises. From the airport to Sahara Shaher
premises and back, luxury buses and cars were organized for the transportation
of VIPs/ dignitaries. For proper accommodation of VVIPs, special staying
arrangements were made in state-of-the-art luxury suites/rooms at Sahara
Shaher and in luxurious rooms in Hotels. For transportation within the
premises for VVIPs, luxury and special Golf Carts were deployed.
|The majestic dinner that was laid out was a gourmet's delight
with as many as 110 varieties of cuisines, comprising Indian, Mexican,
Italian, Mongolian, Lebanese, Chinese & American dishes to suit a variety
of choices & tastes. The entire fooding was arranged by the Chef, Shri
Hemant Oberoi and his team from the Taj Group of Hotels and for the first
time ever, in both the marriages, arrangements for a sitting dinner for
over 5000 guests were made, under strict hygienic conditions. As a part
of the festivities, more than a lakh and forty thousand beggars were distributed
food across the country.
|The auditorium where the marriages of Shri Sushanto and Shri
Seemanto were solemnized was luxurious and grand with an exquisite décor.
The fragrance of perfumes and flowers permeated all-around and the melodious
strains of a musical piece with the chanting of mantras (composed by the
leading Bollywood composer, Shri Aadesh Shrivastava) created a perfect
|The entrance of Sahara Shaher, a huge gate aptly named Bandhanwaar
with two pillars on either side was erected that appeared to be the bastion
of a royal palace, having the seven sacred vows of the marriage engraved
from top to bottom. In the hues of the evening dusk, the pathways within
Sahara Shaher shone bright with a host of mashals, torch lights, lamps,
wax 'handis' and prism glasses. Paramount Flora and Ferns and Petals provided
tonnes of flowers to adorn the entire venue that was bedecked in numerous
|The ambience of the entire Sahara Shaher was enlivened by
prominent theme-decoration companies like M/s E-factor, who looked after
the decoration of entire venue with mashaals and other accessories; M/s
Back Stage Productions who looked after the construction of alcoves (huts)
and chatris behind 'Bharat Maa' chabi; M/s Gurlein Manchanda, who looked
after the entire auditorium & mandap décor in a fusion of traditional & contemporary
styles, including the furnishing; M/s Pink Rose Apparel, who looked after
the decoration the inter-junction between the helipad and the auditorium
and M/s Aucky, who looked after the decoration of parapets in the rooms
with ethnic bandhanwaars.
|But there was more to come yet. The evening reverberated
to a litany of pulsating music & dance, capturing the essence of different
moods and rhythms. A soul-stirring musical extravaganza by 121 foreign
musicians of a British Symphony orchestra group from Birmingham, U.K.,
was a major highlight, on a huge, 7-feet high, aesthetically designed revolving
stage that was set up in front of the imposing statue of 'Bharat Maa'.
What took everyone by surprise was the British Symphony orchestra playing
around 20 Hindi film and patriotic songs including numbers like 'Bande
Mataram…', 'Sare Jahan Se Achcha…' popular songs like 'Mera
Juta Hai Japani…', and marriage theme-based numbers like 'Mehndi
Laga Ke Rakhna…., 'Le Jayenge Le Jayenge Dilwale…..' and
'Roop Hai Tera Sona Sona….'.. This was probably for the first time
in history that a foreign Symphony Orchestra played so many Hindi songs.
|On another adjacent stage, artistes from U.K. gave a series
of Flamingo Dance, Classical Ballet Dance & Tap Dance recitals. Besides
these, a unique Heliosphere act with artistes performing acrobatics suspended
from Helium gas-filled balloons took one's breath away. Noted choreographer,
Shri Shiamak Davar and his troupe gave a scintillating dance recital that
was pulsating in its rhythmic robustness. Another virtuoso performance
by Shri Chitti Pillai and his orchestra at the wide & expansive sports
ground floored the audience with the subtle nuances of their sensitive
and soul-stirring musical symphony.
|One of the major highlights of the evening was
a grand firework display by the Morani brothers that lit up the skies in
bright, radiant colours. The huge and expansive canvas of this mega event
was captured on celluloid by noted Bollywood Director, Shri Raj Kumar Santoshi.
This was truly the most glorious event ever to have been witnessed in Lucknow,
which shall forever be remembered for its sheer lavishness & splendour,
the pomp & pageantry with the unprecedented gathering of heroes/dignitaries
from all fields, who graced the occasions to bless the young couples, now
embarking on a life of eternal togetherness.
More articles by Rajan Patel
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