The man who enabled millions of middle-class Indians to take to the skies, saw a take off with a difference. Two days ago, Pallavi, the eldest daughter of Capt GR Gopinath, married her French beau, Damien Eprinchard.
Bangalore’s had its fair share of high profile weddings of the children of captains of industry and they have been quite lavish events. The Gopinath-Eprinchard nuptials, in contrast, was a fairly simple and intimate affair for family and close friends.
It has not been the best of times for Gopi whose cargo plane venture Deccan 360 has been grounded for operational woes. Pallavi and Damien too work for the company. But for a few days the family set corporate worries aside and made time to rejoice. People who are familiar with Gopi and his wife Bhargavi know that they are warm and friendly in their personal interactions, this has been their attitude from the early years and has remained unchanging through good times and bad; their daughters Pallavi and Kritika have been raised with the same values. So there were no carping critics to cavil on so personal an occasion.
Gopi is a connoisseur of classical Carnatic music; I have fond memories of the open-air concerts at the small Jakkur Flying Club from the days before he started Air Deccan. It was fitting that the eve of the wedding was devoted to a three- hour recital by Vidwan TM Krishna. There was more music on the morning of the wedding from Vidwan RK Padmanabha before the ceremony began.
The event would be entertaining and informative; we were told by Mathur Krishnamurthy, who is well-known as the face of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. And so it was with Krishnamurthy explaining the significance of each ritual and translating the Sanskrit shlokas into English for the benefit of the foreigners and many Indians who were equally oblivious of the meaning.
The groom’s family participated gamely in the time-honoured rituals, repeating the Sanskrit shlokas confidently. The Indian flavour was strongly evident in the tri-colour flower decorations.
A melee happened immediately after the ceremony with guests rushing pell-mell up the stage to wish the happy couple; it did remind me of the early days of the low cost carrier Air Deccan when boarding cards did not specify seat numbers and passengers used to scramble to get good seats. This was the final Indian touch to the wedding, I muttered to my sister as we hunted for our scattered footwear. At least it helped build an appetite for the delicious many- coursed vegetarian repast that followed, served on plantain leaves.
This is my column published in Oheraldo on July 30; http://www.heraldgoa.in