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Lavanya Bahuguna


Aparna Godha On Managing ‘Lagan Mandap’ Single-handedly

  • JWB Post
  •  January 21, 2016


I visited ‘Lagan Mandap’ last evening, and the clothes there took my breath away. To be honest, not only the clothes but also the bridal accessories were remarkable and straight out of a Bollywood movie.

‘Lagan Mandap’ has become a brand name of its league. Every year, women visit the city’s popular exhibition to purchase not only “the dress” for their D-day but also every possible stunning partywear they want to see bejeweling their wedding wardrobes.

I will be speaking half-truth if I don’t mention the Indian textiles and handicrafts that were also showcased at the two-day event.

The intricate work of thread, traditional embroideries including the Kashmir’s Sozni, Rajasthan’s Aari-tari, Bengal’s Kantha and Gujarat’s Kutch embroidery were few other attractions to look out for. I was smitten by that Pashmina Poncho, by the way!

And let me not get started on the artistic bridal jewelry. For my huge love of Jhumkas, I managed to buy two pairs to be worn at a friend’s wedding. With them, I am totally going to overshadow the bride! *evil grin*

Did you know, ‘Lagan Mandap’ also brings together some of the finest bridal shoe and wedding card shoppes under one roof? It is definitely ‘the show’ for every bride-to-be.

While exploring one such outlet, I bumped into Ms. Alka Pandey who is a big name in the country when it comes to wedding packaging.

She took me to her breathtaking collection that was so creative; I have bookmarked her name in my mind for my wedding.

Bumping into cute babies was another thing that happened to me. I am not embarrassed to write here how I kept asking every new mommy to hand over their babies to me while they’re trying on beautiful clothes. *baby trafficker alert* LOL

Before I bid good-bye to the place along with the Jaipur women carrying innumerable bags full of clothes, shoes, wedding veils, head pieces, wedding jewelry, bridesmaid dresses, etcetera, etcetera…I decided to have a rendezvous with ‘Lagan Mandap’s organizer, Mrs. Aparna Sanjay Godha. It was with her husband that she started conducting the ‘Lagan Mandap’ exhibitions back in 2005. After his untimely demise, it was Aparna who decided to take the baton on and carry it forward. Read my small conversation with the strong lady below:

Me: How important is it for you to carry on the successful legacy of ‘Lagan Mandap’?

Aparna: Extremely, because I understand the fact that its continuation is one of the few ways I can visualize him being happy. It was a dream for him before 2005 to bring the concept of wedding exhibitions in Jaipur. He was aware of the struggle that it required given that people were new to the idea. Moreover, convincing the manufacturers to participate was another task in hand.

Me: Is it right to say that after him, work gave you a terrible time?

Aparna: Not really because by now, ‘Lagan Mandap’ was already a brand people have started to recognize. They have faith in the kind of work we do. Also, during his prolonged medical treatment and surgeries, I had to be extra-attentive towards work. That was the time I learnt my essential lessons of handling a business.

Me: How adventurous has been the planning of events for you?  

Aparna: People in this work field are accustomed to seeing a male boss. Dealing with the vendors and retailers is not considered a woman’s cup of tea. So when I stepped in, I was faced with a similar kind of reticence. Minding my own business and keeping my aim focussed during ‘Lagan Mandap’, I didn’t pay heed to any of that. Because I was determined to make the show a success, I achieved victory.

Me: What else makes you so determined?

Aparna: My team. My team comprises mostly of women. I am not one of those event planners who assign (only) the office-work to girls while the male staff is sweating in the fields. My girls team is strong and works with me throughout the night whenever needed. Trust me, this makes them happy and confident.

Me: You’ve a daughter. How are you parenting her as a single working mother?

Aparna: She goes to school and is small in terms of discussing business issues. So I prefer keeping her away from all this, as of now. Although she is very much interested in the family business, I ask her to enjoy her childhood and make the most of it.

So that was Aparna for you. Do you know a woman as strong as Aparna, tell us about her at !

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