: “I was one of those people who had no idea what they wanted to do in life but I am glad I found my way,” says Sakshi Salve. She has reason to be excited; her first book The Big Indian Wedding was launched like a wedding scene from a Bollywood movie, complete with a star cast, venue curated by designer Varun Bahl, and an item number.
Looking pretty in her powder-pink lehenga, Sakshi sat on a stage decorated like a mandap. The book was released at a glitzy do by superstar Amitabh Bachchan on Wednesday at The St. Regis Hotel. Speaking at the event, he said: “A business management background, culinary arts, fashion and now this. I think it’s time you got married Sakshi, you have all the requirements. I wish you the best.”
Taking book marketing to a new level, the evening also saw the launch of a special song called ‘Teddy Bear’ by singer Kanika Kapoor of ‘Baby Doll’ fame. “Kanika is a long-time friend. When I told her about the book she was quite excited and, at that point, I was not even done with it. Once the book was completed and Rupa agreed to publish it, we decided, why not have a book song? Every wedding season, you will find some staples that play at sangeet and mehendi ceremonies. Kanika created this mainstream track with catchy riffs so [that] people recognise the book from it,” says Salve.
Born and raised in New Delhi, Sakshi is the daughter of renowned lawyer Harish Salve. She moved to the U.K. to study business management.
She then worked for a fashion brand and later in London’s financial district. “Corporate life was not for me; I knew I had to get out,” she says. Her journey towards writing came by way of doing a bit of stand-up. “One of my closest friends asked me to be the MC at her wedding and that’s when I discovered I was good at entertaining people.” She continued to be called in as MC for many Delhi weddings. She admits to having been part of close to nine weddings in one season, which really gave her confidence. Being a voracious reader and having been exposed to her father’s penchant for writing, she was always drawn to the form. The idea for the book stemmed from a journal she kept of all the wacky and, sometimes, bizarre things she saw at Indian weddings. The book takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the planning that goes into a wedding, from the proposal to the ultimate ‘I do’.
“A lot of planning goes into a wedding these days and it begins with the proposal. It can last from anywhere between six months and a year. The book has illustrations along with my observations on extravagant details I’ve seen at weddings. Things are really different now; I just want people to have access and insight into some of the most extravagant weddings that happen in India. I was also doing research on traditions and experiences of people from previous generations so readers can compare the similarities and the marked changes,” says Sakshi.
Will she have her own big day like a movie?
“Not at all, having seen so many of these weddings and being at a certain age, you begin to realise how little that one day means,” she says.
She may opt for a simple wedding but she did have a big fat book launch with this event.