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Dravid weds Vijeta Pendharkar

A Correspondent in Bangalore | May 04, 2003 17:04 IST

Opening a new innings on the personal front, star cricketer Rahul Dravid on Sunday married Vijeta Pendharkar, a doctor from Nagpur.

Watched by family members and close friends, the two exchanged vows at the Yelahanka Temple in the Border Security Force's Subsidiary Training Centre on the outskirts of Bangalore.

In keeping with the wishes of Dravid's mother, the wedding was Maharashtrian, according to a friend of the cricketer. Last year the cricketer's younger brother, Vijay, had a south Indian wedding.

According to the convener of selectors for the national cricket team and former Test cricketer Brijesh Patel, the bride was dressed in a blue Maharashtrian sari, which had golden dots, and Dravid wore a white kurta-pyjama.

Another friend of Dravid said the ceremony, which was solemnised by Pandit Kumar Dharangaonkar, lasted the full six hours. Dharangaonkar hails from Indore, where the India vice-captain's mother was born.

The wedding started at 9.30am with a puja, which was followed by kanyadaan and seven pheras around fire. Rahul then tied the mangalsutra around Vijeta's neck and exchanged varmalas with her.

Among those who greeted him on the occasion were leggie Anil Kumble and former seamer Venkatesh Prasad.

Later, everyone had lunch and went to the Taj West End Hotel on Race Course road for the reception.

In the evening, the couple emerged in front of the media for 10 minutes.

They stood on a small dais in front of the hotel reception as the photographers clicked away.

Decked in jewellery and looking extremely jaded, unlike Dravid, the bride gave the impression of being rather uncomfortable in front of the camera.

Dravid was wearing an off-white sherwani and jodhpuri mojdis and his wife was wearing a grey-maroon silk sari in Gujarati style.

Wearing a huge smile on his face, Dravid thanked the media for allowing him the privacy that he had requested for. The journalists repeatedly requested the bride to say a few words, but Pendharkar did not oblige and walked away with her husband towards the lawn at the end of the hotel.

A television channel had installed a satellite dish on the lawn to telecast the event live, but had to remain content with the shots of the couple on the dais.

On the menu, which was strictly vegetarian, were uttapam, dosa, puran puri etc. Desserts were gulab jamun, jalebi and ice cream.

Dravid's agent Lokesh Sharma, wearing a black bandh-gala, gave company to the journalists while his wife Gazala, sister of well-known journalist M J Akbar, stood by him.

Dravid is holding a reception in Bangalore on Sunday evening for the two families, while another one for friends and cricketers is scheduled on May 6 at the same venue. On May 10, there will be a reception at Nagpur.

The marriage had generated a lot of media attention and the cricketer, who is extremely reserved, had requested privacy.

The security at BSF centre was extremely tight. The Dravid family had taken up nearly 70 rooms at the centre. The guests were requested not to venture out alone.

Atul Bhure, one of Dravid's cousin, said, "It is frustrating. I wanted to go to the chemist... I had to wait for two hours."

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