BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): Like almost every other thing, Covid-19 and lockdown affected the union of lovers. The number of guests was restricted, there was night curfew and of course, there was fear of coronavirus.
This Valentine's Day, some newly-weds in the city, shared experience of their lockdown weddings with Free Press. Excerpts:
Rode scooty to reception venue
We got married on March 23, 2021, after a three-month-long courtship. Nazia and I had met for the first time on January 17 and we got engaged on Valentine's Day last year. Two days before the wedding, lockdown was imposed. That disrupted all our plans. Fearing that the movement of trains may be stopped as was done in the first lockdown, I phoned 50 outstation guests to drop their plan. Meanwhile, the management of the marriage hall we had booked asked us to get permission from the collector's office. Originally, nikah was to be performed at Tajul Masjid and the reception was at marriage hall. But then we decided to go for nikah at my residence. For the reception, my wife and I rode to marriage hall on my Activa. We wound up reception in three hours. Of course, we could not enjoy the wedding the way we wanted to. -Javed Ansari, 33, social activist
I met Sandhya at a wedding function when I was 16 and she must have been 14 or 15. It was love at first sight. But we had to wait for more than 10 years for our union. Though we are from same community, there were issues that delayed our wedding. Ultimately, in February, the wedding date was fixed as April 30, 2021. At that time, who knew that a lockdown would be imposed. I went to the collectorate and obtained permission for wedding with 50 guests. Later, that too was cancelled and we were asked to limit the number from groomís side to 10. It so happened that only eight of us travelled to my wife's place in Hoshangabad for marriage. Even my parents could not come. I was dulha and my sister, my jijaji and three to four other persons were baratis. -Rohit Mehra, 31, marketing executive†
Lights switched off
When I look back, I find my wedding a funny and memorable experience. Shikha and I had first met in 2016 as business partners. After five years of courtship, we decided to become life partners. Initially, our marriage was fixed in June 2021. We booked a marriage hall and paid Rs 21,000 in advance. Suddenly, the second wave of pandemic broke out. We were first given permission for 100 guests, then 50 and finally 20. We decided to postpone wedding. The marriage hall refused to return the advance. Next date was November 28, 2021. This time, we booked two marriage gardens, one with a capacity of 100 and the other of 200, so that we could opt for one of them, if curbs were imposed. The barat assembled at 9 pm. At 10, the DJ accompanying us stopped playing music, citing rules. We were supposed to vacate the garden by 11 pm. Everything was done in a hurry. At 11, the lights were turned off and we had to leave. The guests who got themselves photographed with us had to be reminded to remove their masks. -Praveen Shakya, 33, businessman.