Backlash As Indian Couple Share Intimate Wedding Photoshoots (photos)

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:Akhil Karthikeyan
Backlash As Indian Couple Share Intimate Wedding Photoshoots (photos) - Vantage News Nigeria
:Akhil Karthikeyan

In the photographs, Lekshmi and Hrushi Karthik were seen laughing, hugging and chasing after each other in a lush tea plantation, wrapped in white silk comforters.

Backlash As Indian Couple Share Intimate Wedding Photoshoots (photos) - Vantage News Nigeria
:Akhil Karthikeyan
Backlash As Indian Couple Share Intimate Wedding Photoshoots (photos) - Vantage News Nigeria
:Akhil Karthikeyan
Backlash As Indian Couple Share Intimate Wedding Photoshoots (photos) - Vantage News Nigeria
:Akhil Karthikeyan
Backlash As Indian Couple Share Intimate Wedding Photoshoots (photos) - Vantage News Nigeria
:Akhil Karthikeyan

The couple, who were married in a small ceremony in last September, but decided to have a post-wedding photoshoot that would make up for their subdued marriage ceremony.

“Ours was an arranged-cum-love marriage,” Lekshmi  told BBC during a phone conversation from their home in Ernakulam in the southern state of Kerala.

Hrushi works in a telecom company and Lekshmi has just completed her degree in electrical and electronic engineering.

The couple had planned a lavish wedding in April, but then the coronavirus pandemic struck and everything planned was quarantined.

In and effort to cub the spread of the virus, India in March, implemented a strict country-wide lockdown and banned all gatherings.

Not wanting to wait any longer, Hrushi and Lekshmi got married on 16 September in a temple in her hometown Kollam.

“Only our families and a few close friends attended. The police gave us permission for only 50 guests.”

To make up for the modest affair, the couple decided to have a “memorable”

The photoshoot were done in Kerala, and many other parts of India.

Since Hrushi wanted their post-wedding photoshoot to be “romantic and intimate”, he trawled the internet and came up with the “perfect idea”.

On his part, the photographer, Akhil Karthikeyan, revealed it took just a few hours to execute. They borrowed the comforters from the couple’s hotel room in a lush tea plantation and the grounds of the tea estate provided the backdrop.

“It was great fun. We laughed through it. We were really excited about it. It was a part of our honeymoon, we were just married and we felt free,” says Lekshmi, adding that they had no idea it would create so many problems for them.

Trouble began just a couple of days later when Akhil uploaded the photographs on Facebook.

Trolls described the photos as ugly, vulgar and shameful; some said they were pornographic and fit for a condom commercial; some advised them to get a room.

“We received two days of relentless hate,” says Lekshmi. “People said we were showing nudity, they asked if we were wearing clothes underneath, they said we were doing it for attention and seeking publicity.”

Most of the abuse, Lekshmi says, was directed at her.

“It was really awful for me. They were harassing me much more than him. They were telling me to act in porn films, I was body shamed,” she says.

However, days later, people began challenging the trolls and started expressing support for the couple with many described the photos as ‘amazing’ and ‘beautiful’.

“We didn’t know who the trolls were who were criticising us. We also didn’t know the people who were speaking in our support, but it made us very happy,” says Lekshmi.

Aside the social media trolls, the couple also had to deal with conservative relatives who did not approve of the photoshoot.

“Initially, our parents were shocked too, but we explained to them why we wanted to do it and they understood and have been very supportive. But many of our relatives accused us of aping the West,” Lekshmi says.

“They phoned us to ask what was the need for this? They said, have you forgotten our culture?”

Lekshmi and Hrushi were dropped from family WhatsApp groups.

But the couple say they are determined that they won’t take down the images.

“If we do, they will take it as admission of our guilt, that we did something wrong,” says Lekshmi. “But we didn’t do anything wrong. We were even wearing clothes underneath.”

Initially, she says, it was “hard for us to deal with all the criticism, but now we’re used to it.”

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