The Telegraph
Saturday , March 29 , 2014
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Knotty dates hit election hurdle
- Marriage cancellation hurts hall owners

Meenakshi Kishore of Boring Canal Road had been eagerly planning the finer details of her wedding day with friends but the election season has put a spanner in her dreams.

The 26-year-old’s wedding was scheduled for April 17 — the day Patna now goes to polls — forcing the family to postpone the ceremony.

Clearly unhappy with the change, she said: “My wedding will now be solemnised on June 6 as the original date was clashing with the elections in Patna. During elections, we often hear cases of vehicles being seized and wedding parties facing different kinds of problems. My family did not want any trouble that day and changed the date.

“For any girl, her wedding is the most-awaited day in her life. I had planned so many things so that my friends could attend the ceremony. With the change in the date, I have to plan accordingly,” she added.

Marriages made in heaven clearly have competition down on earth — but Meenakshi isn’t the only one troubled.

Several wedding ceremonies in Patna have been postponed because of a clash with the polling date. Most families fear inconvenience to the groom or bride’s families in the form of seizure of vehicles by the administration and limited access to some roads in the city.

Ravikant Singh, a retired bank employee, has postponed his daughter’s wedding to mid-May from April 30. The fourth date for polls in the state clashed with the wedding because the groom is from Madhubani — one of the seven constituencies to vote that day.

“The groom is from Madhubani which goes to polls on that day. We didn’t want the baraatis (groom’s family) to face any trouble so we changed the date to the middle of May,” said Singh.

Astrologer Prem Sagar said there are at least eight shubh mahurats (auspicious dates) in April for weddings, but several of his clients were altering their plans to avoid a clash with the general elections.

“April 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 27 are very auspicious days to tie the knot. Three of my clients although changed their dates as the weddings clashed with the day of voting in Patna — April 17,” he added.

Apart from the brides and grooms, the date riddle has also left owners of marriage halls and band parties unhappy. If postponement has halted the families’ plans, cancellation of bookings has hit those providing the must-haves on a wedding day — marriage halls and music — hard too.

Rizwan Ahmad, the owner of Kohinoor Marriage Hall in Anisabad, said: “On April 17, four marriages were scheduled at the hall but all four parties have cancelled their bookings. I have suffered huge losses.”

Pankaj Ranjan, the owner of Mangalam Garden in Ashiana, also said: “Many clients cancelled their bookings in April because they did not want the baraatis to face any problem on the day of the wedding.”

April would have brought good profits to the hall owners too.

Rakesh Sharma, the owner of Aditi Community Centre, a marriage hall near Maurya Lok Complex, said: “Around 10 people had approached me for bookings in April but now, all of them want dates in May. We usually make good profits in April because this is the first wedding season after the kharmas period (considered inauspicious for weddings).”