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Three-day debate to pick Sania ring

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By G.S. RADHAKRISHNA in Hyderabad
  • Published 11.07.09

Hyderabad, July 10: For a change, the well-behaved woman did make news, if not history.

Tennis star Sania Mirza got engaged to childhood friend Mohammed Sohrab Mirza, the famous miniskirts and cheeky tees — one had proclaimed “well-behaved women rarely make history” — giving way to a golden ghagra choli created by Bangalore designer Nitish Chandra.

The nose stud, which has become as much a fashion statement as her off-court dressing, wasn’t the only diamond she had on.

Sania glistened in her diamond-studded necklace and gold bangles as she formally became betrothed to Sohrab at 8.15pm in the ballroom of the swanky Taj Krishna hotel.

Sources said the groom-to-be gifted Sania a diamond ring worth approximately Rs 7.5 lakh. The family grapevine has it that the young couple debated on its size for almost three days during her visit to London for Wimbledon.

Sohrab, who comes from an established business family in Hyderabad, was equally resplendent in a black Armani suit and a diamond brooch presented to him by Sania.

“Sania and I spent almost half a day in London’s jewellery stores to get the right one for him,” the player’s mother Naseema is said to have told one of her friends.

Stalked by suitors claiming to be in love with the 22-year-old tennis player, the family chose to keep the media away from their Jubilee Hills home.

The engagement venue was also off limits. “It is a very, very private event in Sania’s life. Please allow her to enjoy it,” pleaded father Imran.

Sania had driven out of her residence with her sister during the day. She shared a quiet lunch with Sohrab at a wayside restaurant in Begumpet and went through the arrangements for the evening.

The guest list given to the Taj Krishna security had 328 names, including sportspersons, politicians, film stars, relatives and friends, besides six to seven sports journalists chosen by Sania.

The relatives and journalists were asked to assemble at a point and were taken to the hotel in a closed-window coach around 7pm.

The VIPs were given car passes along with the invitations that were to be displayed on their windshield. The hotel, managed by the Taj group but owned by G.V. Krishna Reddy, one of the main sponsors of Sania’s sporting career, had hired 50 securitymen to guard the gates and all four entrances.

Among the guests who reached early were tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi, who is also Sania’s doubles partner and manages her career, tennis administrator Anil Khanna and Chamundeswarinath, secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association.

Cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh were said to be among the invitees but could not be spotted.

Pashant Padaki, a Taj Krishna chef, said a 67-course dinner had been cooked, to be served in silverware hired from the Faluknama Palace. The star attraction was Sania’s favourite dish, Hyderabadi dum gosht ki biryani with prawn salad.

“At least two dishes were cooked in the Chow Mohalla palace, which has an elaborate kitchen and utensils to feed an army,” said a source.