Dehradun:For 23-year-old Sakshi Rawat, nothing better explains the feeling of marrying one of the most eligible bachelors in the country than being on cloud nine.
Well, it was the feeling all the way for the bride of Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the beauty parlour in which she got ready for her big day, was also called cloud nine. The parlour was on the premises of Vishranti resort, where the two tie the nuptial knot. The couple had a secret wedding in the pastoral resort in Dehradun owned by former Rajasthan chief minister Vashundhara Raje Scindia.
The 500-bigha property is situated about 25 km from the Dehradun city near the Lower Kandoli village. A narrow 4-ft wide road through the jungle leads one to the place where Dhoni married his girlfriend of several years.
The path to the resort was manned by more than 500 cops who had erected barriers at several points to ward off snooping journalists, who reached the place from across the country. Dhoni's family had reached Dehradun on Saturday evening but the cricketer could reach the venue only by Sunday morning. Adding to the heavy veil of secrecy, the villagers of Kandoli also remain tight-lipped about the marriage. Some of them who work in the resort also did not reveal anything.
The marriage was sanctified by Pandit Dharmanand Mithani, who also performed the pooja at the engagement ceremony on Saturday. Emerging out of the marriage at about 1:30 am, Pandit Mithani told MiD DAY that the marriage ceremony went on for three hours and it was held according to the Kumaoni customs. He also informed that the whole process of fixing the marriage and programmes was on for the last two months.
Though it was raining and there was no power, the mediapersons stayed put amidst the light by their cameras and numerous flashes of matches to light cigarettes.
Dehradun Superintendent of Police (SP) Abhinav Kumar, who was among the list of invitees, told MiD DAY that Harbhajan Singh was not present in the function and there only Ashish Nehra and RP Singh from Team India who participated in their chief's wedding.
Among other high-profile guests were BCCI bigwigs including secretary Srinivasan and Bollywood actor John Abraham. Choreographer-turned-filmmaker Farah Khan also came to wish the newly-weds. The resort manager, requesting anonymity, told MiD DAY that a 15-course, all vegetarian meal was served for the guests. He also confirmed that while Dhoni was dressed in a designer green sherwani, Sakshi wore a red lehenga.
Dhoni and Sakshi have studied together at DAV, Shamily in Ranchi. Shakshi is the niece of DIG Abhilasha Bisht, a 1994 IPS of Andhra Pradesh cadre who was on deputation in Uttarakhand. Her husband Kumar Vishwajeet is posted as DIG Provisioning and Modernisation in Police Head Quarter, Uttarakhand Police in Dehradun.
Bisht had returned to AP cadre in April this year and is currently on UN assignment. Three hotels were hired to keep the event a strictly private affair. One of them, competent resort was chosen as the venue for engagement on Saturday. Dhoni has reportedly visited Dehradun and Mussoorie frequently for the last two years.
A local floritst, Charan Das, supplied the flowers for the function while marriage outfits and the DJ were brought i in from Mumbai.