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12,000 marriages in Delhi today
Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi |
November 27, 2003 15:38 IST
Last Updated: November 27, 2003 16:11 IST
If marriages are made in heaven, God has had his job cut out for him this week. Over 12,000 couples are set to tie the knot in Delhi alone on Thursday.
November 27 being an auspicious day, there is a great rush for marriage halls and caterers, designers and priests are in great demand in this city of 15 million people.
Shefali Verma, who is marrying Thursday evening, may have got the groom of her choice, but not the beautician, designer, caterer and music band she and her family had wanted.
K N Rao, a leading astrologer, told rediff.com: "For the last two months, Jupiter was in Leo. This path to some extent has traditionally been considered bad. Now, when Jupiter is out of that path, Thursday and Friday are auspicious days."
Shefali's mother, Kamla Verma, said: "We wanted to arrange the marriage in a five-star hotel. But we couldn't get it. Then we settled for a marriage hall near our house. We didn't know so many people would be marrying the same day. We did as the priest told us to do."
She said the designers had no time to stitch Shefali's lehnga (bride's suit) and she had to buy a readymade one.
Pandit Rajender Mishra, who had little work in past two months, is now a much sought after man. "I am solemnising four marriages today. And all four are in different corners of Delhi. I have to rush from one place to the other. They have arranged a vehicle for me," Mishra said.
An employee at Sajawat Beauty parlour in south Delhi said: "We turned down several requests. All our staff is busy today. There were advance bookings two months back. This situation arises almost every marriage season. But this time it is too much."
A Municipal Corporation of Delhi spokesman said almost all parks and marriage homes owned by the corporation are booked. The spokesman, however, could not confirm the 12,000 figure. "Most of the priests are giving this figure. But no doubt it should be something close to that."
Business executive Sunil Kumar Gupta is attending three marriages. "I have to attend all the three marriages because they are all my close friends. I may not be there for the ceremony, but I must wish them," Gupta said.
But Hindu marriages are not only about celebration, they also bring with them traffic jams as shamianas spill over on to the roads.
The groom leads a procession riding a horse or a bedecked car and friends and relatives go dancing all the way to the venue of the ceremony.
Joint Commissioner of Police Qamar Ahmad said: "It is a difficult day for us because there are many public meetings (of politicians) also. And then so many marriages."
Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are addressing several public meetings in Delhi in the run up to the December 1 assembly election.
Thursday is also the last day of India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan in south Delhi.
Our advice to Delhiites: Venture out only if you have some important work to attend to. But if there is a marriage you must attend, well...