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Bond, mid-air bond
Rajasthan couple take vows in hot air balloon

Jaipur, December 31
Sunil and Vandana Sharma have become the first Indians to be married in a hot air balloon. The traditional Hindu wedding rituals were performed by priests in mid-air.

Thousands of people gathered at the SMS Grounds here yesterday as the couple went up in the balloon. Sunil and Vandana, both aged 22 years, exchanged the varmala (garlands) as people standing on the ground cheered them.

There was loud applause as Sunil applied red kumkum on the forehead of his bride while balancing himself in the balloon.

Apart from the mid-air 'mandap', the event had all trappings of a traditional Hindu wedding. The kin of the bride and groom revelled amidst fireworks as the sounds of the shehnai and 'sangeet' reverberated through the grounds. The groom even came riding on a horse to the venue of the wedding before going up in the balloon.

The Sharmas told reporters that they were excited to be united in an unusual wedding. Sunil is an investment banker who hails from Kothputli in Jaipur district while Vandana is a trainer at a private coaching institute.

Anoop Srivastav, creative head of Entertainment 7 that organised the marriage as a part of the Indian Festival of Thematic Arts (IFTA) at the SMS Grounds, said he would try to get the wedding registered in the Limca Book of Records.

Srivastav said, "When filmmakers can imagine such things in their movies, why can't people too experience them in their daily life?" PTI

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