In a remarkable feat that makes a compelling case for 'love is love', Kolkata has its first gay newlyweds! On 3rd July, Abhishek Ray and Cheitan Sharma tied the knot in an intimate ceremony surrounded by their family and close friends. The much-in-love, same-sex pair—hailing from a Bengali and Marwari background, respectively—hosted a Hindu wedding, incorporating rituals that were a nod to both their cultural roots.
"Calcutta has witnessed something different which might ignite the love for this city more than ever before. We, as a team, have tried to freeze the timeless moments in this celebration of love where two brave men did come out embracing love and care for each other, exchanging their varmalas and vowing to hold each other, accompanied by the warmth of their families and the fire," penned Charcoal and Vermillion, a Kolkata-based photography service that captured the memorable moments of the nuptials.
On the big day, the grooms donned bespoke creations from Abhishek Ray's occasion wear brand, with Cheitan sporting a sherwani and safa and the fashion designer wearing a dhoti-kurta, along with a traditional Bengali topor. The duo had worn matching yellow dhoti-kurtas for their Haldi ceremony days prior. Abhishek and Cheitan first met via Facebook—now called Meta—and the rest is history. Three months ago, Cheitan went down on one knee against the Monument of Love, the majestic Taj Mahal, an illustration of which was incorporated in their wedding invitation card as well.
Amid the pomp and show of the affair, the priest, who solemnised the wedding, divulged details about each mantra recited, and also hailed the ceremony to be "extremely progressive", with the grooms' serving as "torchbearers" and beacons of hope for the LGBTQIA community.
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