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Randeep Hooda and Lin Laishram’s Marriage Sparks the “WED IN INDIA” Movement: Jay Patel

New Delhi (India), March 1: The marriage of my brother, Randeep Hooda, and Lin Laishram was the highlight of the year for me, an experience like never before. I have witnessed their love growing over the years, and seeing them unite in marriage was truly an emotional moment.

The best moments were the three days we spent together in Imphal, Manipur—a beautiful state with rich traditions and people whose love for nature and a lifestyle close to nature is truly inspiring.

This beautiful marriage marked several “first times” for me, including wearing traditional “Dhoti Kurta.” As horse lovers, Randeep and I were thrilled to witness Ibudhou Marjing Heingang, the temple dedicated to the god of Horses and Polo in Meitei tradition. Few might be aware that the game of POLO originated from Manipur, once played by the tribesmen as Sagol-Kangjei or PULU.

The following day, we visited Loktak, the largest floating lake in the world, its beauty nothing short of breathtaking.

I must not forget to mention the traditional Black rice pudding “Chak-Hao,” prepared by Lin, adding a delightful touch to our experience.

On the wedding day, Lin looked magnificent in traditional Potloi, made of thick fabric and Bamboo sticks. Following Meitei tradition, Lin prepared the “Var-mala” herself for Randeep, a heartwarming moment to witness. As per tradition, the groom and all men in his family and friends wore all white, while Randeep donned the Manipuri Pagdi known as “Kokyet.”

We were fortunate to witness the world-renowned Meitei Pung Cholom (Dancing Drummers of Manipur) on the same day—their drumming, dancing, and singing were mesmerizing, showcasing flawless coordination.

Following the performance, Lin entered the Mandap, filling the entire space with a divine fragrance that is challenging to describe.

An amusing tradition followed the marriage ceremony: friends of the bride surrounded the groom, tapping on his head or shoulders, asking for money to stop the tapping. It became our duty, including mine, Randeep’s sister Anjali Hooda, Pale Singh, and Prawaal, to save and protect Randeep from his bride’s friends.

The celebrations continued with reception parties in Mumbai and Delhi, attended by close friends and family.

During the Delhi Reception, our friend Sonam Upadhyay noted that with this marriage, Randeep and Lin covered the entire nation, marrying in the East, hosting receptions in the West and North, and honeymooning in the South. I highly appreciate this, as an NRI who has always missed the beautiful Indian culture, customs, traditions, and festivals. Randeep and Lin have, in my opinion, initiated the “WED IN INDIA” movement.

Over the years, seeing Randeep and Lin together, I had hoped they would marry. Here we are, celebrating their big day, a moment we all eagerly awaited. From the bottom of my heart, I wish them the very best—a happy, joyous, and wonderful new chapter of togetherness.

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