Gods and Lovers

During their massive, five-day Indian wedding, a local couple was worshipped

Listening to all this, you can't help but think: Damn, this is one lucky couple. Not only do they come from the same general region of India, speak the same language and follow the same religion, they found each other at a relatively young age. And with medical school and law school finished, they're perfect Indian poster children.

"They're the prime couple," says friend Kajal Singh. "The funny thing is it does happen a lot that a doctor marries a lawyer, a doctor marries a doctor -- those kind of things. But a lot of times I see what was done was based on economic reasons or based upon family-focused situations, something like that. But, with this, the economic reasons are just a side part. They're really genuinely in love."

For the final dance of the evening, a group of the couple's friends and relatives from across the country get up to perform a routine they have learned using video footage sent by the choreographer. Suddenly, they pull Atul onto the floor, at which point, after initial feigned befuddlement, he breaks into full-on Bollywood dance moves, in sync with the others.

Sunil Sahay next to a statue of Lord Ganesh.
Daniel Kramer
Sunil Sahay next to a statue of Lord Ganesh.
Sarika rides into her wedding ceremony on a dholi.
Daniel Kramer
Sarika rides into her wedding ceremony on a dholi.
In the Laja Havan portion of the wedding ceremony, Sarika pours puffed rice into flames as an offering to Fire God.
Daniel Kramer
In the Laja Havan portion of the wedding ceremony, Sarika pours puffed rice into flames as an offering to Fire God.
Husband and wife at their wedding reception.
Daniel Kramer
Husband and wife at their wedding reception.

These are the moments people live for in South Asian weddings. In the glow of the moment, it seems $100,000 is a small price to pay, after all, to be treated as a god.

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