Avikalp Kumar Gupta weds Shephali Tandon
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During our first conversation, we found out that there are a lot of things and people common among us. The first conversation on phone went on for 2.5 hours. At that time, we were in different cities, Pune and Bangalore. But her sister and brother in law were in Bangalore, so they came to visit me at a restaurant. I and her jijaji are alumnus from the same college, IIT Kanpur, and have been around the same set of people for around 10 years, and yet didn't know each other. We found that we have a lot of common friends and a lot of common experiences and it was an instant connection that we formed in that meeting. Shephali and I started talking more regularly after that... until the lockdown hit us. Because nobody was allowed to travel, it seemed difficult how our families would take things forward, so they asked us to stop talking to each other. After a few months, Shephali moved in with her sister in Bangalore. This opened up a few possibilities for us. Our parents wanted to lead this conversation, but in their absence, they agreed to let me meet Shephali at her sister's place. After having a lot of great food, that she cooked for me (all of my favourites), we had a long walk in the society. I already felt that I had started loving her. We started meeting every weekend after that. And in a couple of months, our parents also decided to meet. My parents invited her family over to Mumbai in October 2020. This meeting was also very smooth and both families gelled together as if they knew each other forever. A date for our engagement was decided there itself. My elder brother was due to get married on 8th December. We invited Shephali and her family to the wedding as well. This was the first time when my entire extended family met Shephali - and this was a good low-pressure setting where Shephali was also able to freely talk to them and build a connection. We even performed an impromptu dance performance during the Sangeet event, and everyone loved it! (Both have dance as a common interest, so that helped). We got engaged on 15th December 2020 in her hometown. Even though we had zero time to prepare anything, we choreographed and practised a small dance performance on phone itself while traveling in a train 😂. We assumed that we would shortly be married and had started making plans. But due to the second wave of COVID-19, combined with the limited number of pious dates available in 2021, our wedding date kept on getting postponed. We finally met again in August for the Shravani festival and combined our pre-wedding shooting Our wedding date of 20 November was decided, and we had to pull off a lot of hacks to make sure that this one doesn't get changed. Just 10 days before the marriage, when everything seemed set, I went out for a last-time-before-marriage football match and came back with a fractured hand. This was a big hit and everyone was worried. But we re-stitched all my clothes and promptly adjusted all the other preparations and dance performances to suit this new situation. Ultimately, the marriage ceremony went great. Everyone had a blast. We had a phenomenal Sangeet, an over-joyous pool party and a sensational baaraat!