No chopper, but festivities bang on


Celebrities, sumptuous food, 10,000-strong crowd mark reception of Kanwar Singh Tanwar's son

While the wedding gift a Rs 33-crore Bell 429 helicopter could not land at the hurriedly constructed helipad inside the Jasola farmhouse of Congress leader Kanwar Singh Tanwar, the Rs 5-crore reception had enough pomp to soar. Tanwar's son Lalit got married to the daughter of former Sohna MLA Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria's daughter last week.

Actor Neha Dhupia performed to Sheela ki Jawani, while Gurdas Maan regaled the audience with Punjabi pop. The Europe-themed decor Roman pillars, Venetian structures along with Chinese furniture in the VIP bar, epitomised the grand Indian indulgence.

The celebrations was not without a purportedly social touch. "I have announced that the helicopter will be used for public, social services and emergencies. A hotline will be set up for the purpose," said Tanwar, who was the richest candidate in the fray during the 2008 Assembly elections.

Family members said the aircraft took off from the Delhi airport in the evening, but could not land in Jasola after the ATC denied clearance, leaving the local residents disappointed.

"Suna tha havai jahaj ayega. Hum dekhne aaye the...lekin kuch nahi hua (We had heard that a helicopter would land here. We came to see it, but nothing happened)," said one of the many villagers gathered outside the venue.

Connoisseurs of food were, however, not complaining. The reception had over 500 counters serving Chinese, Rajasthani, Punjabi delicacies, a variety of snacks, fruits, nearly 70 tandoors, and four machines to prepare chapatis, besides a Domino's outlet, traditional hookahs and a Kashmiri kahva. The party saw a 10,000-strong crowd, including politicians like Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, MP Sandeep Dikshit, Delhi minister A K Walia, and Yoganand Shastri.

Besides the family, it was a moment under the limelight for the man who set up the venue. "My father had arranged the decor for the wedding of Tanwar's sister 20 years ago. The event was the talk of the town. Now, my brother Sonu and I have set up this venue," said Rupinder Walia, director of JB Decore.

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