Marriage spectacular hits a rocky patch
Friday 08 September 1995
As priests chanted hymns, the bride and bridegroom exchanged rose garlands before 100,000 guests in a 30-acre tent designed by movie art directors. The bridegroom was SV Sudhakaran, the foster-son of Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jayaram, a former film actress who used her popularity to get elected to the highest office in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Sita Lakshmi, the bride, was the granddaughter of Sivaji Ganesan, the leading light of Tamil cinema.
News reports had said that more than 300,000 people had been invited for the wedding and a feast. Those plans, however, had apparently been scaled back under public pressure. More than 5,000 lambs and 25,000 chickens had been bought for the feast. But they were never used and a vegetarian meal was served.
Still, the celebrations were opulent. The bridegroom's relatives, including Ms Jayaram, wore saris woven mostly with gold. The bride's family kept a low-key presence.
The guests watched the couple exchange their wedding vows on hundreds of closed-circuit television sets kept in the auditorium. They then dined on a six-course meal of 50 dishes prepared by 3,500 cooks.
n The average Tamil earns 50 rupees (pounds 1) a day, writes Tim McGirk.
Activists said that child labourers were paid only five rupees for working 18 hours a day, making fireworks so that Ms Jayaram could dazzle her guests.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...