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Bihar lockdown: Rush to postpone weddings, many shed grandeur

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There is a rush to cancel or postpone weddings in Bihar, while many are still going ahead sans the ‘band-baajaa-baaraat’ as the state went into an 11- day lockdown amid the COVID crisis. There were a number of auspicious dates between May 5 and 15 — the lockdown period, and owners of wedding halls said that most of the bookings have been cancelled.

The state government has allowed only 50 people to take part in the weddings during the lockdown. Besides, DJs and procession with ‘band-baajaa’ (orchestra) have been prohibited.

Further, the local police station has to be informed three days in advance for hosting a wedding, and the function can go ahead only after its clearance.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also appealed to the people to put off social functions such as weddings in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Kumud Sharma, the manager of the luxury Panache hotel in Patna, told that almost 90 per of the advance bookings for weddings have been postponed.

“A few people, for whom shifting the date was unavoidable, are going ahead with a simple wedding. Only a handful of guests will be present and there would be no band- baajaa-baaraat,” he said.

Also, these weddings will be held only after getting permission from the Gandhi Maidan police station, he added.

Similar is the situation in Maurya Hotel.

“Majority of the bookings during this period have been moved to future dates,” a senior official of the hotel, which is part of the ITDC chain, said.

Vijay Sinha, owner of the Masala Junction restaurant- cum-banquet hall in Patna, said that almost all the advance bookings at his property have been put on hold.

Families that could not postpone the weddings expressed their dissatisfaction with cutting down on the pomp and show.

“We had planned a grand wedding of our nephew in Aurangabad on May 6. But, it turned out to be a ‘fika samaroh’ (tasteless function) for want of ‘band-baajaa’ and drastically cutting down the guest list,” Ram Bihari Singh, a native of Chulhan Bigha village in Arwal district, said.

Dharmendra Rai, who attended one such wedding in Maner on the outskirts of Patna, echoed similar views.

The situation has left decorators and ‘band parties’ or orchestra groups staring at losses.

“We had four-five bookings per day during this period but all of them have been cancelled,” said Mohd Tajuddin, the proprietor of the famous Patna Bachcha Band.

Pradeep Kumar, the owner of Shiv Garden banquet hall in Darbhanga, said he had to cancel all the bookings on the request of the families.

Reports from almost all the districts said thousands of weddings have either been cancelled or postponed.

Not more than two cars are allowed in a wedding and that also after furnishing an affidavit in favour of obeying all the COVID protocols, said Suman Verma, whose daughter got married in Bhagalpur on Thursday.

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