Sister and Maid of Honor. Shruthi is her mini-me and even confused as her twin with the excessively matching ‘90s outfits growing up. Shruthi was territorial over clothes in their teenage years, but now has come to realize the benefits of two closets full of clothes. She has since then promoted Laya as her fashion advisor. Laya has been Shruthi’s soulmate, best friend, role model, and guidance counselor for the past 26 years. Shruthi looks up to her so much that although they pursued different career paths they now hold the same job title. Thanks to their parents (executive producers of Shruthilayam Productions) they are both independent accomplished women who are excellent dancers, mediocre singers (despite the meaning of their names), and martial arts warriors.
The bride’s real jodi. All instances of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi are actually in reference to Megha and Shruthi (not Anuj and Shruthi) as they are the true Bhangra all-stars. Their relationship began over the obsession of Finding Nemo, Bhangra dance moves, and all things Bollywood. Megha has saved Shruthi’s life multiple times and has been her motivational and emotional support throughout their adult lives. They thrive together as dance partners, bartenders, DJs, and hype-man. When they’re not tearing up the dance floor, they can be found watching reruns of Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Shahrukh Khan Bollywood movies, or Harry Potter. Although she is the groom’s sister, her true loyalties lies with the bride.
The bride’s fitness and cooking instructor. Allegedly they met freshman year but their true friendship didn’t flourish until their last few years at VCU. They get along seamlessly and love sharing “what’s new” in each other’s lives over phone calls and FaceTimes. Shruthi consults Tania for fashion advice, how to do squats properly, and how to cook chole.
Shruthi’s hair stylist. She taught Shruthi how to do different hairstyles, yet has still unsuccessfully taught her how to use a curling iron. Fariha is the nicest person you will ever meet. When they’re not out exploring the world they’re binge watching TV shows on Netflix.
The birdie’s twin. Ankita is the better looking, taller, artistic, more successful, and Punjabi version of Shruthi. They were commonly confused as twins around campus at VCU. Ankita was Shruthi’s first friend in college. They met at orientation before the start of the school year and knew instantly that they were going to be great friends. When they weren’t studying for their biomedical engineering classes together they were dancing to anything from Bollywood, Bhangra, and ratchet Richmond music.
Shruthi’s person. Angela is Shruthi’s go to person for shopping advice, a travel buddy, and food cravings. She refers to Shruthi as her Munchkin and has taken care of her since high school. They’re both clumsy and have fallen flat on their faces multiple times, some of which we have managed to capture on video. They have traveled the world together and enjoy exploring new cities. No matter the distance, they continue to stay in touch with letters, postcards, phone calls, and Google Duo calls (because Angela refuses to convert to an iPhone).
The bride’s party person. Priya has witnessed Shruthi grow up from an annoying pre-teen to a functional member of society. She has taken care of Shruthi throughout the years and introduced her to the cool kids at VCU. They both enjoy being the life of the party, whether that means belting old school songs, or frolicking around the dance floor doing random crazy dance moves.
The bride’s dynamic duo. Diviya has known Shruthi the longest (outside of family). Growing up, they referred to each other as the dynamic duo based on their similar personalities. Everything Divya is thinking, Shruthi says out loud. Their families have gotten along seamlessly and sometimes their parents seem to go on more trips together than they do. Thankfully, the have the same sense of style and are the perfect shopping companions.
The bride’s entourage. Despite being the groom’s cousin, she has agreed to represent both sides of the wedding party. Ayesha met Shruthi freshman year of college and was shocked that she didn’t already know who she was or the Arora name. They quickly became close friends as members of an elite group known as P-Squad. Shruthi was drawn to Ayesha’s happy and goofy personality. They survived college together and supported each other through their individual graduate school programs. Ayesha upholds their relationship far greater than Shruthi does and calls to check up on her often. Shruthi once joked about being adopted into Ayesha’s family, but now is ecstatic that Ayesha has to refer to her as her future “Bhabhi”.
The bride’s mini-me. Shruthi took Namratha under her wing and taught her that the best lounge attire is quarter-zips and Adidas soccer pants. She convinced her to join the Bhangra team by telling her that classically trained dancers make the best Bhangra dancers. Shruthi loves Namratha’s sense of humor and candid responses to life’s situations. She witnessed Namratha change from a quite innocent person to the life of the party. Shruthi likes to believe this was because of her influence in Namratha’s life.
Acquaintance. Maryum was Shruthi’s first friend on the Bhangra team and was deceivingly really nice to her in the beginning. Little did Shruthi know how crazy Maryum truly was. Despite all of Maryum’s weird behaviors, she is the one person that Shruthi does not ever argue with. Maryum is the most caring person in reality, despite the “tough guy” act. They can talk to each other about anything from politics, philosophy, pets, career, and relationship advice.
Shruthi’s staple Guju fiend. Shruthi believes she corrupted Nistha freshman year of college. Nistha went from being a perfect vegetarian Guju girl going to Swadhyay and eating pav bhaji, to almost converting into a Punjabi and accidentally eating pepperoni flavored Combos. She is a relentless friend to Shruthi and has been there for her no matter what. Despite being stuck on an island right now, she still makes time to catch up with her Veeres.
Shruthi’s cousin. Shruthi witnessed Geethika grow up from an adorable chubby baby to an accomplished young woman. Although they only get to meet on family trips to India or on google hangout calls once a month, Shruthi loves interacting with her. Despite the long distance, Shruthi’s sees Geethika as her little sister and will always take care of her.