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Love in London

Love transcends barriers of caste, creed and colour

Photo: K.R. Deepak

The perfect pair: Gareth and Sirisha

No men are foreign
No countries strange
Beneath all uniforms
A single body breathes...

An English boy married a Telugu girl settled in England. One may ask: so what's great in it? The boy bowing to the wishes of his father-in-law came all the way from England and married his love in accordance with Hindu traditions at Sri Panduranga Swami temple in Visakhapatnam on Valentine's Day.

A. Sirisha (24) was doing her post-graduation in psychology at the New Castle University. She met T. Gareth, who was doing his engineering, through her friend's husband. That was three years ago. They kept meeting on and off and their friendship blossomed into love and they decided to marry.

Sirisha's parents, A. Sivaprasada Rao and Aruna, readily gave their consent to their daughter when she expressed her desire to marry Gareth. They knew him as a good-mannered and pleasant person for two years and having settled in England they had no reason to object to the alliance.

Gareth' s parents initially expressed surprise at their son's proposal but later reconciled themselves. With the elders on both sides agreeing, what more could the young couple ask for? Their joy knew no bounds.

Gareth is working for MWH, an international company with branches in different parts of the world including India. He is fascinated by Indian traditions and customs and plans to visit India more often. "Weddings are performed in a formal manner in England. In contrast, a number of rituals are performed in India. I had seen a film of an Indian wedding and was impressed by the elaborate manner in which marriages are performed".

There are certain similarities also in the traditions followed in India and England like asking the consent of the boy and the girl before performing the wedding.

What attracted Gareth towards Sirisha? Was it love at first sight? Certainly not, he says, and adds: "We knew and understood each other for three years before deciding to marry. Sirisha is a loving, caring, and beautiful girl and she makes me happy. I love to see her more in a sari".

Gareth lives with his parents, two brothers and three sisters. They were not here for the wedding. He is carrying photographs and video recordings of the marriage for them. He also plans to marry Sirisha in the traditional English manner at the end of April and host a party there.

The young couple has proved that love transcends barriers of caste, creed, religion and nationality.

History repeats

About three decades ago, Sivaprasad, hailing from Srikakulam, was doing M.Sc. Biochemistry in Andhra University. He fell in love with his classmate, Aruna, who was a native of Nellore district, and married her in Visakhapatnam. After finishing his PG, he worked as a lecturer in AU for seven years.

Subsequently, the couple migrated to England, where both took up teaching in the University of Leeds. Their second daughter, Deepthi (20) has done her graduation in medicine.

Why did he choose Visakhapatnam and not Srikakulam as the venue for the marriage? Says, Sivaprasad: "My parents, close relatives and many of our friends from Srikakulam have migrated and settled in the `City of destiny'. I wanted all of them to attend the wedding".

Sivaprasad has no plans to return to India. "Britain is a good country and people there have a fair knowledge of our traditions and respect them," he says.

B. MADHU GOPAL

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