A crowd waits outside the district sub registrar’s office in Jamshedpur on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Too dark to sign wedding vows? East Singhbhum couples who wanted their wedding on the once-in-a-century date 12.12.12 for anecdotal glory in the decades to come weren’t disappointed, only left in the dark for hours at the registrar’s den.
Marriage registration schedules went haywire at East Singhbhum sub-registrar’s office, which suffered a mystery blackout stretching for four hours and 15 minutes.
Power went off soon after the office opened around 10am. Lights came back around 2.15pm.
East Singhbhum district sub registrar cum special marriage officer Rama Kant Tiwary said 16 marriage applications had been submitted. But with the pre-lunch hours getting wasted, only 12 marriages could be solemnised, even though they worked till 5.45pm, three-quarters of an hour beyond normal closing time of 5pm.
Worse, many other waiting couples left.
Usually, the office solemnises eight to nine marriages daily. The triple-12 date lure ensured the number was more than double.
The official said they had been expecting a huge rush on the special date.
But, no, they did not foresee the power cut.
It wasn’t about lights, Tiwary hastened to add.
“Without power, we cannot complete the marriage registration and enter it in our computers as record,” rued the official.
What adds drama in bushels is the sabotage theory — not entirely unsubstantiated — doing the rounds.
“It seems someone who was against the marriage of a couple on this special day had planned this. Otherwise, power cut only at the sub divisional office (SDO Dhalbhum) block in which our office is located does not sound convincing,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
The official said the entire district collectorate had power. “Only a small portion of electricity wire had been cut deliberately near the SDO Dhalbhum office, so that we suffered a blackout,” he said.
Jusco maintains power supply in these areas. Its team restored power in the afternoon.
For couples, the thrill of the special date turned into a date in darkness.
Kadma resident Chitrodeep Bhattacharjee (25) and his bride Sudeshna Chatterjee (22) from Chaibasa (West Singhbhum) waited for over four hours. Their marriage did get solemnised around 3.30 pm, but their proposed family get-together in the evening nearly went for a toss.
“We had planned a small party at home in the evening. But all my family members were stuck at the sub-registrar’s office till late afternoon. We have to rush home and start preparations for the function,” said the harried newlywed Chitrodeep, a sales manager at Adityapur’s Nobel Cast Limited.
“Ours is an arranged marriage,” he said. “The Hindu rituals will be held on February 14. Hopefully, no glitches then,” he crossed his fingers.