Mission Delhi – Tanvi Misra, Sector 31, Noida
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It was to be a “sustainable wedding.” There would be no plastic, for instance. And everything was to be ethnic. The food would come from a traditional Old Delhi kitchen. Music would be provided by the Sufi qawwals from the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Out of 750 guests, a few were flying in from Germany, the groom’s country.
All the venues were in Noida, where the bride lives.
The reception was falling on Easter.
And then the coronavirus gatecrashed, and Tanvi Misra’s wedding plans were cancelled.
“Mom and Dad were heartbroken,” says Ms Misra, 29, chatting on WhatsApp from her home in Noida. Her parents were nevertheless determined to go on with the plans “but I realized that it was too risky since our guests included a lot of elderly folks and people with medical issues.”
So, here she is, nursing her heart in Sector 31, while her groom, Nico Rittmann, is in faraway Hamburg where he works as a police officer. He is currently deployed in the city’s coronavirus emergency service. Ms Misra herself is pursuing a Master’s in the German city of Leipzig.
For the moment the woman is trying hard not to suppress her spirits. She has a broad smile—the photos are taken through the mobile screen that connects her to The Delhi Walla. She gets up to show her framed portrait with Nico; it is placed beside the portraits of her parents and grandparents.
Technically, she’s already married—they signed the legal papers late last year in a townhall in Copenhagen, Denmark. But without any friend or relative to share the joy.
The April shaadi was to be the big thing, at least as suggested by Ms Mista’s ambitious plan for the festivities.
She met Nico four years ago in Wustrow, a village in Germany where she was on a fellowship provided by the German government. The encounter took place in a bar. “Nico claims that he fell in love with me right there, as he heard me discussing the Rohingya crisis with a colleague who was leaving for Myanmar soon.”
He moved to her pad within two weeks and the rest is history.
Ms Misra flew back to India this February to prepare for the forthcoming celebrations. Nico was to arrive early this month with his family.
Now her parents are aiming for the wedding ceremony in the winter, assuming that pandemic will be history by then.
Despite the upheaval in her life, Ms Misra realises that disappointments caused to her by the coronavirus are too minuscule in relation to those of others, which range from job losses to starvation. “The cancellation of my wedding reception is a small inconvenience in the larger perspective,” she admits.
[This is the 294th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
A wedding and the virus