A blending of heritages


Julie Tamburello And Tarun Kundhi


Julie Tamburello and Tarun Kundhi met in 1994 when they both worked at an area health-care company. They crossed paths at after-work happy hours with co-workers and even lunched occasionally, but neither thought they had much in common.

Besides working at her job, Julie had enrolled as a graduate student in the University of Baltimore's publication-design program, so she spent most of her time away from work studying.

Tarun, on the other hand, was on the corporate fast track. He worked hard, but he also played hard. He didn't understand how Julie could leave happy hour on Friday night to go home and veg out in front of "The X-Files." ("It was my one night off" from studying, Julie explains in her own defense.)

In May 1995, Tarun left the company and moved to Atlanta for a new job. Surprisingly, Julie found she missed the man she thought had been just a casual acquaintance. And Tarun found himself calling long distance to talk to the woman he used to see mostly at work.

Tarun came back to visit and the two went out for a few platonic dinners. When he moved back to the area in August 1995 to take another job, Tarun decided his interest in Julie was definitely romantic. Though they were both nervous about ruining what appeared to be a true friendship, the couple began to date.

The relationship progressed well. In the summer of 1996, Julie and Tarun traveled cross-country in an elaborately planned road trip -- 7,500 miles in less than three weeks -- that took them to American landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and Redwood National Park.

In April 1997, Julie and Tarun bought a home together in Elkridge. That November, while on a weekend trip to Boston, Tarun surprised Julie with a platinum-and-gold engagement ring he had designed himself.

The couple decided immediately that their wedding would be an equal reflection of their diverse religious heritages. Julie, who grew up in Perry Hall, is Catholic. Tarun, who moved with his family from India when he was 3 and grew up in Waldorf, is Hindu.

Their marriage, on July 24 at Baltimore's Basilica of the Assumption, was co-celebrated by Monsignor James Hobbs and Pundit Amar Nath Ji. It included Gospel readings as well as the recitation of the Catholic vows of marriage. The couple lighted a unity candle to signify their coming together as one.

In the Hindu tradition, Tarun then donned a red turban. He and Julie exchanged flower garlands signifying their acceptance of one another. A small fire was lighted on a table -- to symbolize purity and to act as a witness to the union of the couple. The offerings Julie and Tarun made -- including rice and powdered sandalwood -- symbolized the spirit of sacrifice and equal partnership.

Julie's parents, Philip and Chris Tamburello of Perry Hall, and Tarun's parents, Gurdial and Durga Kundhi of Waldorf, participated throughout the ceremony. Julie's brother Philip and Tarun's brother P. Tanuj were among the groomsmen. The reception, for 170 guests, was held at the Belvedere.

After a honeymoon trip to St. Lucia, Julie, 29, and Tarun, 31, will return to their home in Elkridge and to their careers. Julie is a senior graphic designer at Groff Creative in Bethesda and Tarun is a manager and senior consultant at Oleen Healthcare Information Management in Towson.

They look forward to a long life full of "adventure" and marked by "giddiness and happiness," Julie says.

"It's the world according to Julie and Tarun," Tarun says with a chuckle. "That's the way we live our lives."

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