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December 7, 1999
A marriage made in 1, Anne Marg
Awakash Kumar in Patna
The 'secular' father finally succumbed to pressure from his wife and forced his unwilling daughter to marry someone from the same community. The actors in this story that wouldn't have captivated Bollywood are Laloo Prasad Yadav, his wife and Chief Minister Rabri Devi and their daughter, Misa Bharati.
Misa Bharati is now set to tie the nuptial knot with Shailendra Kumar, a computer engineer, on December 10.
The groom, originally from Bihta, 45 km west of Patna, has completed his engineering from Baroda and management from Lucknow before first joining ICICI and then Infosys at Bangalore. His father, Rambabu Pathik, is a bank manager posted in trouble-torn Jehanabad district.
After marriage, Shailendra Kumar is leaving for a training course in Texas. And Misa is to follow him there with lowered eyes.
Misa was the quirky name Laloo Prasad Yadav chose for his 1976-born in honour of the notorious Maintenance of Internal Security Act under which he was imprisoned during the Emergency.
Rabri had wanted to marry Misa off at the time the girl was admitted to the MGM Medical College, Jamshedpur, on a TISCO quota in 1993 soon after she failed the entrance examination.
According to a testy Rabri, her husband Laloo Prasad Yadav paid no attention to the matter.
Speaking to rediff.com earlier, she had said, "I was a mother of three at Misa's age. Saheb [Laloo Prasad Yadav] is not thinking about this. It seems I will have to do something... See, the daughter of my brother, Prabhunath Yadav, who works at Patna Women's College and is younger than Misa, is going to be married this year itself."
The chief minister had further vowed, "1999 will not cross without a final decision being taken. I have already negotiated for her marriage..."
Misa, also a girl with a hot temperament, reportedly helped her mother run the government when her father was in jail. When she topped the MBBS exams, she also sparked protests from students who believed they had a shrewder idea of her capabilities.
While assisting her mother, she was short with bureaucrats, even rude. Misa also wasn't averse to getting into ugly fights, if she felt the situation demanded it, allege sources in the state headquarters.
Already, the parents of the bride have grand plans for the marriage: all district magistrates and police superintendents have been directed to attend.
Meanwhile, the groom's family members are to be housed at the residence of Rabri's controversial brother, Sadhu Yadav. Arrangements are on in full swing at the 1 Anne Marg residence of the chief minister as well.
Flowers for the mandap and the stage where the exchange of garlands between bride and groom are to take place are being brought in from Calcutta. "It will be a pure vegetarian event," said Laloo.
Ten thousand guests have been invited, including the President, prime minister and chief ministers of all states, besides Bollywood personalities like Dilip Kumar, Saira Banu, Mahesh Bhatt, Pooja Bhatt and Shabana Azmi.
One name that was surprisingly missing from this list, perhaps, is actress Mamta Kulkarni, who Laloo had once asserted was like his younger sister.
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