WEDDINGS: VOWS; Kanan Shridharani and Stephen Jacobson
HE’S a lawyer, while she’s a doctor who distrusts lawyers. She was born near Bombay to a family of strict vegetarians, who moved to Long Island when she was 4. His parents, who now live near Boca Raton, Fla., were in the meat distribution business in New York. He ate most of his meals and even did his homework in Manhattan steakhouses like Wally’s or the Post House.
It seemed unlikely they would ever meet, but Dr. Kanan Shridharani, now 36, and Stephen Jacobson, 40, were introduced in June 1998 at an Upper West Side bar by Heidi Edelstein, a mutual friend, who gives monthly matchmaking parties she calls ”Katch Me a Katch.”
Mr. Jacobson, a litigation associate at Barasch & McGarry, a Manhattan law firm, immediately liked Dr. Shridharani, especially her dark eyes, her impressive business card and her eclectic interests. Friends describe her as an anomaly: an assistant professor of internal medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine who works 16-hour days yet somehow manages to find the time to attend cocktail parties, run marathons, backpack through Costa Rica, read novels and shop for high fashion clothes.
”She’s a doctor with style,” said Dr. Yasmin Khakoo, a friend and pediatric oncologist. ”Kanan epitomizes beauty and brains.”
When the couple met, Dr. Shridharani did not like Mr. Jacobson at all. ”It wasn’t love at first sight,” she remembered. ”I was like: ‘Oh, a lawyer. I’m not into it.’ I felt like he was a bit of a salesperson in his demeanor. Then, a month later, Heidi dragged me to another ‘Katch Me a Katch’ and he was there and he was determined.”
Knowing she was an athlete, he invited her to a spinning class for their first date, and afterward they went out for something to eat. ”Over dinner, I got interested,” she said. ”We talked about movies, travel, books, our families. I thought, ‘This guy is great!’ I always thought I was very good at first impressions, but I was wrong for once. And I don’t like being wrong.”
After only a month of dating, Mr. Jacobson, who describes himself as so talkative he ”errs on the side of confession all the time,” told her he loved her. It took Dr. Shridharani four months to say ”I love you” back. ”It took awhile for me to think he was the one,” she said. ”I’m cautious. I worry about men in general, and their intentions. People say ‘I love you’ all the time, very easily. In our family, we don’t say it easily. For me, it has to be real honest, from my heart.”
Despite their differences in temperament and background, the bridegroom said, they share one important thing: long, long office hours. ”Ultimately, our common bond is how exhausted we are from working,” he said. ”We are tired together.”
They were married on April 22 in a Jewish ceremony at Tappan Hill in Tarrytown, N.Y., followed by a Hindu ceremony the next day at Salaam Bombay, an Indian restaurant in TriBeCa. Half the women present were in colorful iridescent saris and sandals and the rest wore black cocktail dresses and high heels. Describing the weddings as an even-handed combination of East and West, the bridegroom said, ”It’s Boca meets Bombay.”
For the Hindu ceremony, the barefoot bridegroom wore a white suit; the bride appeared in a red sari and glittered from head to toe. She wore dozens of ruby-colored bangles, her hands were painted with henna and even the part in her hair was decorated, with a gold chain that ran down it, shining like a river at sunset.
While guests ate, the bride’s friends stood up and presented Mr. Jacobson with a doctor’s bag full of things he would need for his marriage. One item was a vegetarian Indian cookbook; another was massage lotion.
”In the Indian tradition, it is customary for the wife to massage the feet of the husband,” Dr. Khakoo said. She then handed the lotion to the bridegroom and said, ”But in the Jewish tradition, it is the opposite!”