“Cameras will not be allowed, even in the lobby,” we overheard the bouncers saying at Hotel Ashok, as we pulled into the driveway in a chauffeur-driven car, pretending to be guests at Congress leader Kanwar Singh Tanwar’s son’s wedding reception on Sunday. The affair is touted as the costliest Indian wedding ever, worth an estimated Rs.250 crore.We walked through the security check, a large Chloe bag dangling from our arm. Our tiny camera was intact in an expensive clutch at the bottom of the purse, concealed with the invite that we had managed to procure from a guest. The security person rummaged through the bag, careful to not touch the clutch, looked at the card, and let us in with a smile. Our lensman, too, pulled some strings and got in with his camera a little later.
It was then that the party began. The Convention Hall, done up with red and white roses, welcomed us as we folded our hands and greeted the family. They smiled back. The newlyweds, Lalit and Yogita Tanwar, both 26, were sitting on a huge stage. There was another stage to the right, where Bollywood divas Malaika Arora Khan, Zarine Khan and Jacqueline Fernandes performed later.
East European women in pink satin dresses walked around with waiters, asking everyone, “Should I make you a drink?” The guests, dressed in Swarovski-studded outfits, sat on plush red sofas placed on white fur carpets. We, however, danced our way close to the stage as hosts Nitin Arora and Anjana Sukhani announced the act by pop band Aasma, carefully took out our camera and got to work.