Nikhil Agarwal Weds Naina Prakash

Wedding 3in

The newlyweds with the groom’s parents and his mother’s brother Sanat “Sunny” Jain (extreme left) who flew in from New Delhi to attend the reception.
Photos: A&A PHOTO

By Jawahar Malhotra

SUGAR LAND: One can never tell how the meandering road of Life brings two people together. In the case of this couple, you might say that divine intervention played a major role many years ago when Nikhil Agarwal was still a rebellious teenager. “I would go to the Houston Satya Sai Center every week and asked him to tag along and just sit with me,” recalled his dad Pradeep Gupta. “The center had an emphasis on doing volunteer work and always had many projects going on. This appealed to Nikhil and he got involved with various Seva projects through the Young Adult group at the Center.”

Wedding 2in

The bride Naina Prakash and groom Nikhil Agarwal pose by the head of the stage.

Even though he helped at the Center, Nikhil was still a skeptical seeker of faith until a moment two years later when he had an epiphany that made him an ardent follower of the Satya Sai Baba, who has been his guiding light ever since.

And when his thoughts turned to finding a partner in life, he naturally considered seeking someone who also shared the same belief in Satya Sai Baba. A professional in a high-tech company, he met Naina Prakash through a website devoted to spiritual matters. Even though she was in California, they soon discovered that they had many friends in common and two years after they met, they got engaged in December 2013. You could say theirs was certainly a union cemented in common  beliefs and spiritual values.

Wedding 1in

The bride and groom Nikhil with his parents on the left, Pradeep and Kiran Gupta and close friends and business partners Raj and Jugal Malani (extreme right).

Ten months later, on Sunday, October 19, 2014, Nikhil and Naina were married in a ceremony held in Bangalore, India where many of the Prakash family relatives still live. A group of close family and friends of the Guptas from the Bayou City went to attend the elaborate festivities starting with Haldi, Mehndi, Sangeet  followed by the wedding and then an elegant poolside reception at the ITC Windsor  Manor Hotel in Bangalore.

And a much larger group of people, nearly 600 strong, attended the sumptuous and glittery reception that was held for the newlyweds this past Sunday, December 28 at the Sugar Land Marriott hotel. The uniquely crafted, boxed and scented invitation card had the hallmarks of the style that Nikhil’s mother, Kiran is known for. And close family friends, Mahesh and Alpa Shah of Dawat Catering made sure that the menu for the appetizers at different food islands and dinner was just as unique and appetizing. Adding to the glamour was the colorful and elegant décor by Pramel Shah of Prashe Décor.

The groom, Nikhil Agarwal, 32, is the son of Kiran and Pradeep Gupta of Houston. He came to the US when he was 16 years old after finishing off at Modern School in New Delhi and has a Bachelors in Business Management from the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston. He has worked at Laversab, a manufacturer of oilfield and aviation computer equipment based in Sugar Land, for the past nine years, currently as its CFO. His mother, Kiran retired from banking several years ago, but his dad, Pradeep is still very active in the Unique  Group of Companies, which he co-founded in 1997 with Jugal Malani.

Naina Prakash, 28, is the daughter of Usha and Jay Prakash of Fremont, California, where she was born and raised. She has a marketing degree from the University of California and has worked with well known firms like Sybase/ SAP, Workday and others for many years. Her father, Jay, is a consultant in the software industry and her mother Usha is a homemaker. She has a brother, coincidentally, also named Nikhil, who is an aspiring actor and director in the California movie business.

After the wedding in Bangalore, the newlyweds went to the Satya Sai Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi and then to Ludhiana to get the blessings of Nikhil’s dadaji – paternal grandfather –, and on to New Delhi to receive blessings from Nikhil’s naniji (maternal grandmother)  before going off to Mauritius for a honeymoon. The couple will make their home in the Houston area.