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Ashna Kataria Weds Rohan Buntval

The newlyweds with their parents and siblings. From left, Pratima Buntval, Arya Kataria, Sangeeta Dua, the newlyweds, Karan Buntval, Amit Kataria and Narsim Buntval. Photo: Jawahar Malhotra

The newlyweds with their parents and siblings. From left, Pratima Buntval, Arya Kataria, Sangeeta Dua, the newlyweds, Karan Buntval, Amit Kataria and Narsim Buntval. Photo: Jawahar Malhotra

By Jawahar Malhotra

ANGLETON, TX: You can tell how deeply two people are in love when they still remember not just how they met, but even the date and other memorable dates that came along. And it helps if you are as intense a person as Ashna Kataria is.

She remembers the night of Monday, December 9, 2013 when she met Rohan Buntval. She was ready to go to bed, when her friends texted her to come to the library. Her roommate Melissa asked why she was getting ready and she teasingly replied “because I might meet the love of my life today.” Rohan usually studied at home, but a mutual friend, Mustafa Jawad set them up and they met at 2:30am that night!

Two months later, they finally went on their first date on Friday, February 2, 2014 and realized there was a spark. Two and a half years later, on Thursday, July 7, 2016, surrounded by friends on a boat on Lake Travis, Rohan surprised her by popping the question.

With the help of their parents, the couple began planning their wedding in India, paid deposits and made arrangements for clothes, with plans to go there in August to finalize everything. “Then Hurricane Harvey hit and everything came to a stop,” recalled Sangeeta Dua, the bride’s mother. “We decided then to move the event here and started pursuing venues and vendors in earnest.”

But in October Ashna’s 93 year-old dadaji (paternal grandfather) Sanval Dass Kataria had a heart attack and was hospitalized. The distressed family thought of postponing the wedding, but dadaji objected and insisted that the wedding go on as planned. He became stable and was discharged from the hospital, only to stumble while coming home from the grocery store, and fell. He never recovered and passed away on Monday, November 13, just days before the wedding. But his last wish was that the wedding go on and he be remembered joyfully in the festivities.

The wedding was held on Saturday, October 25 at the Magnolia Manor of the Springs Event Venue in Angleton, about an hour south of downtown Houston. The groom rode a white horse and came with his baratis and the Hindu ceremony was conducted by Pandit Pradeep Pandey (of the Siddhivinayak Temple on Hillcroft) under the gazebo, with many relatives and friends of both sides from India, Hong Kong, Australia, Connecticut and other places taking part. The reception was held inside the two-story banquet building with the large chandelier and indoor second-floor observation walkabout. Family friends Arun and Vinni Verma provided the party favors for every guest and large trays of dry fruits for Rohan’s family.

Ashna Kataria, 23, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut and raised in Houston. She attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in quantitative finance with a minor in psychology. She is currently an insurance underwriter with AIG in Houston. Ashna is the granddaughter of Sheela Kataria and the late Sanval Dass Kataria and Dr. B.L. and Sunita of New Delhi. Her father Amit Kataria has his own IT firm, Network Guru and her mother Sangeeta Dua is a well-known media personality and a Somatologist  and Aesthetic Instructor, running a beauty training center. They have a younger son, Arya, 16.

Rohan Buntval, also 23, was born and raised in South Plainfield, New Jersey and also in Bangalore. He received a Bachelors in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and works at Sulzer in La Porte. Rohan is the grandson of the late Hanumantha and Laxmidevi Bhat Buntval and Srinivas and Padmavathi Shenoy. His father Narsim Buntval has a BSc in Electronics & Communications, a Masters in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance & Marketing and his mother Pratima Buntval is an accountant who worked at Motorola and at Investment banks in New York. They both currently live in Manipal, India helping needy and poor through an NGO. Their younger son Karan is in Bard College at Simons Rock, MA.

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