06 June 2016. I’m boarded on Bhutan Airways to attend Waheeda Rehman’s first born
Sohail Rekhy’s wedding to Dechhen Pelden in Paro, Bhutan. In the seat ahead of me is veteran star Helen Khan and beside me is actor Asha Parekh, both friends of Rehman for decades. As we take off we discover that most of the passengers on board are headed to the same destination and they include Rehman’s maternal and marital families and her children’s friends.
At Paro Airport, Kashvi, Waheeda Rehman’s daughter has come to receives us and escorts us to Hotel Le Meridian where we are given a customary welcome. Waheeda Rehman is waiting for us in the lobby and looks visibly excited. “It is the first wedding in the family and I want to enjoy every minute” she tells us. Her enthusiasm is infectious and everyone is in a mood for celebration.
At 7 pm the skyline is bright and I go fro a stroll in the hotel garden accompanied by Asha Parekh. There is a nip in the air and we are about to join other guests in the hotel terrace when it suddenly begins to rain and everyone rushes inside. We are told Bhutan climate is unredictible and never leave without a shwl and an umbrella.
Dinner is at the hotel and the staff informs us that their hotel has come alive because of the Indian wedding. As if on cue, bridegroom Sohail joins our table and is beseiged by his friends and cousins forcing him to join them for a party and Sohail pleading them to let him go to sleep.
Waheeda Rehman watches them fondly and says “In the olden days, we fussed over the bride and the bridegroom, today they are their own wedding planners as a result they hardly enjoy their special moment.” Rehman is all praise for her daughter-in-law and proud of her son’s choice. “She is considerate and efficient and well versed with our customs. When we realized that the wedding date coincided with Ramzan, I told my relatives to let go of rozas for one year and they agreed but Dechhen was particular that morning sehri and evening iftaar should be available to all those observing the fast and supervised the details personally. It is very thoughtful of her and I appreciate it.”
( to be continued)
You can read the complete column onhttp://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/06/15/waheeda-rehman-son-wedding-bhutan-asha-parekh-helen-bhawana-somaaya