The Kalyanam of Sasi and Radhika

by ChessBase
1/30/2008 – Let us explain: Kalyanam is Sanskrit and Tamil for wedding. Sasi is grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran, the second strongest player (after you-know-who) in India, the second to cross the 2700 mark. Radhika is the daughter of Suryanarayanan and bravely agreed to wed Sasi. The ceremony took place last Sunday in Chennai, South India. We have pictures.

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Indian grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran was born on January 7, 1981 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in south-eastern India. He received his title in 2000 at the Commonwealth Championship and drew the attention of the chess community the following when he won the Hastings International. He is the second-highest rated Indian player, and also the second Indian to cross Elo 2700.

Sasikiran is named in the Tamil tradition, i.e. Mr Sasikiran, or, if you know him well, just Sasikiran, or "Sasi" (pronounced "Sashi"). Krishnan is his father's name. His wife is known as Mrs Sasikiran, although nowadays South Indian women prefer to retain their father's name instead of switching to their husband.

Sasikiran was marride to Radhika Suryanarayanan on Sunday morning. The wedding was attended by relatives, with some chess folks and colleagues also present. Anand's parents also came over to bless the couple. There is wedding reception tonight which the chess community and friends will attend. It begins at 6 p.m. at Hotel Ashoka, Egmore, Chennai, in case you can make it.

The Kalyanam (Wedding)

This is an elaborate ceremony in South India, much richer (and longer) and any we know in the West. Most of these marriages are arranged, as was the case with Sasikiran and Radhika. This means that the parents arrange meetings between perspective partners, and the young people decide whether to go ahead or not. Beats searching for a partner for life in bars and dance places. At a South Indian wedding the bride and groom should be congratulated with the words "Kalyanam Waltigal" (the second consonant in "waltigal" cannot be pronounced by Western tongues, it resembles the dark English and Russian L).

The following photos from Sasikiran's marriage were sent to us by Visweswaran Kameswaran, who previously did a report on the Ramesh-Aarthi wedding (link below).

The invitation that was sent to special guests

The announcement of the happy occasion in Tamil

... and in English, for guests not versed in Dravidian languages

All the details of the young couple

The South Indian Brahmin marriage ceremony is a spectacular event

The bride and groom with the officiating Hindu priest

Indian wedding ceremonies like this can last for two or three days

Flowers, you will notice, play an important role in the ceremony

The bride and groom are covered with garlands

D.V. Sundar, Secretary of the All India Chess Federation, Radhika Sasikiran, Krishnan Sasikiran, Mrs Susheela
Viswanathan, K. Viswanthan, Mrs Sundar (behind). Anand's parents (Mr and Mrs Viswanathan) came to bless the couple, Anand himself was playing a 61-move final round game against Kramnik in Wijk aan Zee at the time. You've got to get your priorities right, Vishy!

Wedding decorations South Indian style

Guests in the gallery: GM R.B. Ramesh (IOC), G. Srikanth (BPCL), both Tal club, IM P. Konguvel, IM V. Saravanan and wife


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