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Marriage at first sight for New Town couple

Late night wedding bells at pandal
Representational image

Brinda Sarkar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 19.10.19, 12:24 PM

This wedding had pandal-hoppers as guests, claps and whistles instead of ululation and shehnai strains, and the Durga idol as

witness instead of a priest. A young businessman and a college student, who got introduced on Navami afternoon, tied the knot at New Town’s Balaka Abasan puja less than 12 hours later.

“I got a call from my brother at 2.30am on the night between Navami and Dashami. He said he was coming to get married!” said a resident of Balaka Abasan, who was also a volunteer of the puja committee. “When I got married it took months of preparation but my brother pulled it off in the next couple of hours,” the elder brother laughed.

It all started on Navami afternoon. The man and the woman both lived in the same complex, a few kilometres away from Balaka, and had seen each other, liked each other but had never spoken. “On Navami, some common friends got together at a party and we were finally introduced,” said the girl. “We hit it off and he proposed to take me pandal-hopping. When I agreed, he proposed marriage and I agreed too.”

The couple’s friends were beside themselves with excitement. There could be no delay. They rushed to the market and forced a vendor to open his shop for a couple of garlands and a box of sindur. In the meantime, the would-be-groom called his elder brother to break the news.

“I was surprised but also happy,” said the groom’s elder brother.

'Our mother has come from the district to spend the pujas with us. She had long been pestering my brother to get hitched and so was delighted with the news.'

The girl's family hails from another district too but she lives in New Town to pursue college. 'My family would have been startled if I woke them up at 3am and told them I was getting married. So I let it be. I decided to tell them later at leisure. But the wedding was destined. It was Ma Durga's wish and we simply played along,' said the bride who quickly borrowed someone's sari for the wedding.

Balaka was easily the most popular puja in New Town with kilometre long queues outside on the last night of the festivities. But the couple and their 40 to 50-odd guests were received like VIPs.

They settled down at the foot of the marine-themed idol but the priest could not be found! 'We had put up our Durga puja priest at Balaka itself but he was fast asleep. No amount of phone calls or banging on his door could wake him up,' said Rakesh Gupta, media convenor of the puja. 'Never before had we heard of wedding at a puja but we were determined to do the best we could.'

So since miya and bibi were raazi, the wedding could not be stopped even with the absence of a qazi. 'From our experience of our own marriages, we knew that the groom is to say he accepts responsibility of the bride and the latter is to pledge her co-operation,' said puja committee chairman Parichay Day. 'So we asked the couple to pledge the same. We ensured there would be no demand for dowry and then with Ma Durga watching, they exchanged garlands, applied sindur and sought blessings of the elders.'

Meanwhile pandal-hoppers who realised what was happening clapped, whistled and cheered no end. 'They took innumerable selfies with us. Since my family does not know I'm married I kept urging them not to share the pictures anywhere,' said the bride, thereby asking to be anonymous.

The couple went home at dawn on Dashami, man and wife. Since their friends wouldn't let them off without a treat they threw a party in a couple of days, following a full-fledged Bengali style marriage ceremony at home.

'We never thought we'd get married like this but one thing led to another. It was unique and memorable,' said the blushing bride. 'I have always loved the pujas but from now on every puja will be double celebration for us.'

“Our mother has come from the district to spend the Pujas with us. She had long been pestering my brother to get hitched and was delighted with the news,” he added.

The girl’s family hails from another district but she lives in New Town to pursue college. “My family would have been startled if I woke them up at 3am and told them I was getting married. So I let it be. I decided to tell them later at leisure. But the wedding was destined. It was Ma Durga’s wish and we simply played along,” said the bride who quickly borrowed someone’s sari for the wedding.

Balaka was easily the most popular puja in New Town with a kilometre-long queue outside on the last night of the festivities. But the couple and their 40 to 50-odd guests were received like VIPs.

They settled down at the foot of the marine-themed idol but the priest could not be found! “We had put up our Durga puja priest at Balaka itself but he was fast asleep. No amount of phone calls or banging on his door could wake him up,” said Rakesh Gupta, media convenor of the puja. “Never before had we heard of a wedding at a pandal but we were determined to do the best we could.”

Since miya and biwi were raazi, the qazi’s absence could not stop the wedding. “From our experience of our own marriages, we knew that the groom is to say that he accepts responsibility of the bride and the latter has to pledge co-operation,” said puja committee chairman Parichay Day. “So we asked the couple to pledge the same. We ensured there would be no demand for dowry and then with Ma Durga watching, they exchanged garlands, the groom applied sindur on the bride’s forehead and they together sought blessings of the elders.”

Meanwhile, pandal-hoppers who realised what was happening clapped, whistled and cheered no end. “They took innumerable selfies with us. Since my family does not know I’m married I kept urging them not to share the pictures anywhere,” said the bride, thereby asking to be anonymous.

The couple went home at dawn on Dashami, man and wife. Since their friends wouldn’t let them off without a treat they threw a party in a couple of days, following a full-fledged Bengali- style marriage ceremony at home.

“We never thought we’d get married like this but one thing led to another. It was unique and memorable,” said the blushing bride. “I have always loved the Pujas but from now on every puja will be double celebration for us.”

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