Ravinder Khotra and Priti Kumar, a highly attractive and wealthy young engaged couple from Mumbai, have reported their delight and astonishment that their extended families are both entirely supportive of their relationship. The pair had feared that one or other of the families would disapprove, causing them anguish that could only be expiated in song over the course of many hours.
'I am delighted for them,' said Khotra's corpulent and ridiculous but fundamentally decent father Vijay, 60. 'What's not to like? Priti is stunningly beautiful with lustrous black hair and on the few dozen occasions she has accidentally got her sari wet, I could certainly see why my handsome if slightly wayward son would fall for her!'
Khotra's irascible and controlling mother Ameera admitted that she was surprised by the speed of the engagement - the couple only met two weeks ago, while foiling a gang of jewel thieves in a high-speed motorcycle chase - and would have hoped to have had a part to play in choosing her son's bride. However, she added, times are changing and their happiness is the main thing.
Priti herself was stunned that her own highly conservative father let her make her own choice of husband. She had feared that her mother might be angry that she came within two metres of kissing Khotra on a mountainside on one occasion or that a long-running feud between the two families might be an obstacle.
'Ravi's father apparently blames my father for not doing more to help when my mother, who was his cousin and only had a very small dowry, accidentally battered herself to death with a frying pan in the kitchen,' she said. 'It's irrational but that's how things often are with some people.'
The wedding is scheduled for early April and both the couple and their families are hoping that there are no comical slip-ups between now and then to derail their plans. 'But if there are, that's fate,' said Kumar. 'In which case I'll just have to spend four hours singing out of tune in various exotic locations I've never been to in my life.'