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'We Do': Gay Couple in Kolkata Pulls Out All Stops in Grand Wedding Ceremony

By: Buzz Staff

News18.com

Last Updated: July 05, 2022, 08:06 IST

The wedding involved a Bengali and a Marwari family, and hence rituals of both communities were maintained. (Credits: Instagram/@abhishekraycreations; @charcoal_and_vermillion)

The wedding involved a Bengali and a Marwari family, and hence rituals of both communities were maintained. (Credits: Instagram/@abhishekraycreations; @charcoal_and_vermillion)

The wedding followed all Hindu rituals including a priest chanting mantras, varmalas and vows taken by the couple around a holy fire.

Fashion designer Abhishek Ray married his partner Chaitanya Sharma in a ceremony that’s standing as a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ+ community in Kolkata. As per a Times of India report, the wedding followed all Hindu rituals including a priest chanting mantras, varmalas and vows taken by the couple around a holy fire. This, however, was not the first time that the city was witnessing a same-sex wedding, but the first such wedding that followed Hindu traditions. Initially, Ray had been apprehensive about what the reaction to his wedding would be.

Ray told TOI about how the LGBTQ+ community has “always craved inclusion”. “People live-in or perform small functions at home when they want to stay together. When we decided to marry, I told Chaitanya to do it in a way that it remains memorable for our friends and family,” he said. The wedding involved a Bengali and a Marwari family, and hence rituals of both communities were maintained. Photos from the event went viral on social media.

Fashion designer Navonil Das, who attended the wedding, spoke about how it started a wider dialogue. Since the wedding had a signboard featuring two men saying “we do”, it invited conjecture and curiosity from onlookers. Ray and Sharma are well-aware that gay marriage is not legally recognised in India and cannot be registered, but it is not listed as a “criminal offence”.

The reaction of the priest who solemnised the wedding was the most assuring for the couple. The priest not only told them that they were “torchbearers” but also explained the mantras in detail, adding how he could not utter all of them since they had a gender specification. He also hailed their wedding as an “extremely progressive” move which, in turn, impressed Sharma.

Though the priest knows that he might not book a lot of Durga Puja projects this year and might get a lot of criticism, he was still willing to stand by something “pure and auspicious”.

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first published:July 05, 2022, 08:06 IST
last updated:July 05, 2022, 08:06 IST