Lucknow witnesses second Sahara wedding

LUCKNOW: All roads Saturday led to Sahara Shahar, the glittering private estate of Sahara group owner Subrata Roy, whose younger son Seemanto tied the nuptial with knot with Chandni on Valentine's Day.

"It is like a festival in fairyland," summed up one of the guests who had flown in from New Delhi for what was described as the mother of all weddings.

If 5,000 guests, including 1,500 VIPs had attended elder son Sushanto's marriage on February 10, the number was even larger Saturday night.

Other than deputy prime minister LK Advani, former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, a number of governors, Central ministers, chief ministers and other politicians from across the country, Saturday's guest list included the members of the Indian cricket team, the hockey team, leading media personalities, industrial barons and nearly every star from not only Mumbai but also from Kolkata and the southern states.

A disappointment was the absence of former US president Bill Clinton who was earlier expected to join the celebrations.

While Aishwarya Rai, who has been camping in Sahara Shahar for the past five days, continued to play hostess, Big 'B' Amitabh Bachchan amazed all and sundry with his welcome note on the public address system. He greeted the guests in Hindi and in English.

Seventeen chartered flights ferried VIP guests on the Delhi-Lucknow and Mumbai-Lucknow routes. Choppers then took them from the airport to the Sahara Shahar complex's private helipad.

An entire terminal of Lucknow airport was taken over for this operation.

As with the first wedding, some 45,000 designer candles from Twinkle Khanna's stable adorned an artificial lake in the sprawling 200-acre Sahara Shahar.

Some 500 florists bedecked the entire complex in orchids, carnations and roses. According to an insider, 110 varieties of cuisine together with Swiss and Belgian chocolates and the choicest of French wines were included in the spread.

Spanish and Mexican music added to the flavour of the evening.

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