Music plays on as bands await employment in wedding season
The sounds of music continue as the owners of nearly 40 band shops can do little but practice and wait for their business to resume in the wake of the restrictions in the Covid-induced lockdown.
Not everyone who has opened up their shops and business establishments is engaged in making brisk business after the Unlock-1 was implemented in the steel city.
These establishments, which provide band parties for weddings, have also opened up since the past week or so.
However, the owners are left playing the musical instruments in their respective shops while the marketplaces remain bustling with people.
They have little to do but keep practising during this period of lagan (wedding season).
“One can see our shops open. Generally we should have been doing brisk business during this marriage season after the administration allowed the shops, eateries and cloth shops to run as usual. However, not a single customer has turned up to book us nor will anyone come till July 5 when the wedding season is scheduled to end,” said Mohammed Hassan, the owner of Ashique Band Party at Bistupur market told The Telegraph Online.
Hassan, 45, said the administration allowed weddings but restricted the number of participants to 50 only.
“According to the administration’s order, the number of participants from both the bride and bridegroom sides should not cross 50. If a band party is engaged, at least a dozen people will be added to the number and the wedding organisers will have to decrease the participants. Hence, no one is inclined to employ us. Until the coronavirus is not dispelled completely, we will not get any chance to earn even a pie,” Hassan added.
He said despite not earning anything, he has to pay the artistes who are brought from Bihar during the wedding season.
“We bring the artists during the wedding seasons, one from March till July first week and the other from November to January. On an average, 20 artistes are brought here from different parts of Bihar. They are given good remuneration during this period but rest of the year we have to pay them retainerships so that they are bound to render their service during the wedding season. I have to pay the same during and after the lockdown,” said Hassan, who has to support a family of eight.
“If we forget the rhythm while playing an instrument, then it will be a disaster for us. Hence we remain in our shops and keep playing from morning till evening. When the city becomes free of coronavirus, we will be ready to play,” said Hassan, with a clarinet in his hand.
While most of the weddings have been postponed, about a dozen marriages are being solemnised with restrictions every day during the marriage season.
On an average, three court marriages are held in the Jamshedpur sub-registry office every day.