When merchant navy officer Preet Singh and Neet Kaur met on the internet a year ago, little did they know they'd hit it off instantly. They did not see it coming that over the next 12 months, they'd become best friends and get married on the internet. Preet Singh is based in Mumbai and Neet Kaur is based in Delhi.
"Our relationship has been nothing short of an adventure. Neet was the first to get down on one knee and pop the question but I told her I needed more time. Once I made up my mind, she got a mind-blowing surprise when I took her to a gorgeous restaurant, got down on one knee with a ring in my hand and proposed to her. Coincidentally, on the same day, she surprised me by gifting me a jar full of 100 hand-written notes of reasons why she loves me. So it wasn't surprising that our wedding too had to happen in a unique way," Preet Singh told NDTV.
India is currently under a three-week lockdown and with many couples calling off wedding plans or postponing their dates, Preet Singh and Neet Kaur decided to go ahead with the wedding. Since they could not get married at a gurdwara as per tradition, they had their wedding over online video-calling platform Zoom. They conducted a small ceremony in the presence of 50 family and friends, all of whom joined the celebrations on Zoom.
"The wedding we had been dreaming of was with our family in India and abroad and with all Punjabi pre-wedding ceremonies of mehendi, sangeet, etc, followed by the wedding at a gurdwara and then a a reception. Of course we never imagined getting married on Zoom."
Preet Singh confesses that the idea of a virtual wedding was his. "I do not have the privilege of working from home. In a few months, once things start to improve, I will have to return to work which ruled out the possibility of postponing the wedding. We wanted to stick to our date of April 4. So we decided to just go ahead with the plan and also, I wanted to set an example of social distancing in times of a lockdown."
The couple's family did not discourage them from doing something different from tradition."They loved the idea. Everyone had assumed that our wedding too would be cancelled or postponed like all others, but were thrilled to know that they'll still be able to attend from the comfort of their homes. My parents too loved the idea," Mr Singh says.
The bride tpo was thrilled when the groom came came up with the idea. "Luckily, she was able to do a small mehendi and bangle ceremony at her home just before the lockdown which was enough to make her feel like a bride. Getting married was more important to her than all the other ceremonies. After all, where there is will, there is a way," he says.
But now that the couple have committed to each other through a virtual wedding, will there be a real,grand wedding? "Of course there will be a real wedding as any wedding is incomplete without the almighty's blessings. At the first opportunity, Neet and I will get married at a gurdwara according to tradition," the merchant navy officer says.