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Campa Cola compound: With stay on demolition, family prepares for wedding

Days lived amid protests and struggle, nights spent in despair and uncertainty about the future -- this is what most Campa Cola residents have gone through for the last few months. But unlike other families, the Bagarias had another thing to worry about -- their daughter Sonal’s wedding.


Wedding bells: Sonal Bagaria at her home in Campa Cola. Pic/Satyajit Desai

Even though the irregularities in the building had come up in the public eye and the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of the illegal floors, the Bagarias, a businessman’s family, still went ahead and decided on a date for the wedding. All because they believed that things would eventually work out in their favour. Their faith has now paid off.

But it has been a draining eight months for the family, running from pillar to post for help. Since Sonal’s father had not been keeping well, his son Rahul was actively involved in campaigning for the residents’ cause and rallied legal support for it. Residents say that the suo moto action by the Supreme Court was taken after a conversation between senior lawyer Fali Nariman and Justice GS Singhvi. The court had observed the media reports and considered their case on humanitarian grounds.

Families claim it was Rahul who got in touch with Nariman andpleaded him to take on their case, as they had a wedding. Rahul said, “It is my sister’s wedding on December 10 and I just could not let this event be held from a rented flat or a hotel room.

My sister wanted to step out of her own house on her wedding day and not from somewhere she didn’t belong. I had e-mailed Fali about the opinions of Justice Srikrishna and Justice Palshikar, and he replied to me (a copy of the e-mail is available with MiD DAY) that there was a supplement that needed to be attached to the opinion of Justice Srikrishna. We duly submitted that, and now with this order, we can concentrate on the wedding preparations.”

The perfect present
The family was so sure about getting an extension that they even sent out invitations with the Campa Cola address printed on them. Sonal says her brother has given her the best wedding gift and that she couldn’t ask for anything else. “I am feeling mixed emotions right now -- both nervousness and excitement. But if you had asked me on Tuesday, my answer would have been: I am numb and sad over losing my home’. Today I am rejoicing. My fiancé and my in-laws were our greatest support. They understood our state of mind and prayed for a miracle. It is a dream come true for me,” Sonal said. With hardly any time left for the wedding, the family is hard at work, but now, only to ensure that they have a grand celebration.

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