Weddings postponed, matchmakers sitting idle

Weddings postponed, matchmakers sitting idle

SRINAGAR: Weddings and engagement ceremonies that were scheduled at this time of year are either being postponed or held in a “modified form”.

While some families have altogether postponed the weddings with the hope that the situation will turn normal soon, others have opted to postpone only the grand function but not the essential rituals. A couple observed their nikah last week in a low-key affair, only four persons accompanying the groom when he went to fetch his bride. The nikah sermon was read by a molvi at the bride’s place, in a room that had only seven people sitting at a “social distance”. Now the bride is at her husband’s home but no party has been held yet.

“The performance of the marriage is more important than inviting guests,” the groom told Kashmir Reader. “We have planned to throw the feast when the situation becomes normal. That will happen, for sure.”

According to him, the two families had agreed last year to have the marriage take place in April. April is not the marriage season in Kashmir but the date was decided keeping in view the uncertainties of the summer, which have been a regular feature in the past decade.

In contrast, there are families who have altogether cancelled everything from the nikah ceremony to the baraat (the actual day when the bride is taken home by the groom). A Srinagar family shared that the match for their daughter was found in January and the wedding was scheduled in the last week of March.

Just a week before the wedding, the coronovirus panic spread in the valley. The family instantly cancelled it, even though all arrangements were ready.

This is for the second consecutive year that functions have been altered in Kashmir valley. Last year it was due to the political lockdown but this year a new disease has unexpectedly reared its head.

Even finding a match is getting difficult in the circumstances, said Abdul Rahim Baba, an 85-year-old match maker. He told Kashmir Reader that two weddings he had arranged in May have both been cancelled. The prospects of more weddings being agreed to due to his efforts have also faded.

“I can’t go anywhere, can’t visit anyone. Nor can the families who wish to see their children married come to me. I don’t think anything is possible until normalcy returns,” Baba said.

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