After all that hype and hoopla surrounding the Sania Mirza-Shoaib Malik wedding, the reception, the ‘big’ and much-awaited event on April 15, turned out to be slightly low key. Out of the 1000 guests invited by the Mirza family, there didn’t seem to be too many prominent faces.
Earlier in the day, there was a lot of action at the reception venue. The ballroom was done up with colourful flowers and golden lights. The decoration was by Balkrishna, a Hyderabad-based florist and decorater. There was tight security at the entrance to the hotel. The city’s police and traffic police was called in to keep a check on the guests entering the venue, besides the hotel’s security personnel.
In the afternoon, Pakistani cricketer Sohail Tanveer said, “I’m happy for Shoaib and Sania. I’m pleased to be here for this wonderful occasion, and we bring with us tons of wishes from Pakistan. I would say this is Shoaib bhai’s best innings so far, and Sania bhabhi’s best game set and match! May Allah bless them.”
He added, “It is slightly dull here, lag hi nahin raha hai ki koi shaadi ka mahaul hai. Let Shoaib and Sania bhabhi come to Pakistan, we will have a grand reception aur log dekhte rah jayenge.” Baig said, “I will sing a song for the newlywed couple, Aaja Meri Laila, Tujh Ko Main Dikha Doon, Pyaar Ki Jannat Mein Tujhe Leke Jaaon.”
Also present was Pakistan’s federal minister for population welfare, Firdous Ashiq Awan, along with other delegates like Zulfikquar Malik, a leading businessman from Sialkot, Imran Rafique Towne, president of Sialkot cricket association, and Syed Mohammad Fawad Sher, first secretary (political) from the Pakistani high commission in India. Awan presented a golden crown studded with semi precious stones to Sania. Talking about Sania and Shoaib’s wedding, she said, “Pakistan mein log bahut khush hain Sania aur Shoaib ki shaadi ki khabar sun kar. Humein khushi hai ki Sania aur Shoaib ki shaadi mein hum shaamil ho sake. The crown represents the taj gifted to our bahu… Humari dua hai ki woh dono khush rahein.” The Pakistani delegates are expected to fly back to Pakistan on April 21. The buzz is that both Shoaib and Sania are also expected to leave for Pakistan on the same day.
Amongst the other guests who made it to the reception were TDP chief and former Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu, Subbirami Reddy, leading South actors like Nagarjuna, MS Manchu Vishnu, Laxmi Jagapathy Babu, Venkatesh, Bollywood actor Raza Murad, ghazal maestro Talat Aziz, actresses Neha Dhupia and Rakshanda Khan, fashion designers Shantanu and Nikhil Mehra with their wives Rima and Vidushi and kids Ayan, Rishan, Vivhan and Ninya. Those who were expected to attend the reception and gave it a miss finally included AP CM K Rosaiah, governor ESL Narsimhan, city police commissioner AK Khan, Mahesh Bhupathi, Salman Khan, Arbaaz and Malaika Khan and many more.