HomeNewsSealing of Marriage Halls may be a blessing in disguise

Sealing of Marriage Halls may be a blessing in disguise

There was a report that  all marriage halls and guest houses in the city are being sealed. I won’t go into the  legitimacy  or otherwise of this order  but I can say one thing. If  this order indeed comes into force, it will save a huge sum of superfluous expenditure that one is forced to incur to follow traditions coming down to us from our forefathers.

If you want to share the joy of your wedding with your near and dear ones and you know that you cannot invite them, how will you go about arranging for a wedding reception? I remember one instance, of  the late Kazi Masud Hasan, retired judge of J&K High Court, who, on the occasion of his daughter’s marriage several decades ago, did not invite any one(except very close family friends and relatives) at his residence on Lohia Marg where the family then used to stay. Only one big bulb was lighted in the portico. There was no band, no bhangra, na tamasha. It was the quietest and yet one of the most dignified weddings I can recall.

You may not like to go that far. But then, during the days of Lal Bahadur Shastri, when there was acute food crisis and Guest Control Order was enforced, forbidding more than 15 baraaties in a wedding, and banning cereals, such receptions had acquired a frugal look. In 1971 too that happened, though on a lesser scale.

I am told that today if you want to book a guest house, especially  during the peak season, the rates are anything between one lakh and one lakh fifty thousand rupees. Now that is quite a figure, quite an amount. In good old days, when there were large bungalows still in Civil Lines, with sprawling lawns and huge compounds, people never thought of a marriage hall. They arranged the reception on their own premises. I know of an interesting case.  Some years ago when a young man got married, a grand reception was organized in his bungalow. Years later, when his youngest brother was to wed, they had to book a hall. Why? Because they had sold the vast compound to builders and so  pigeon-hole type multiplexes had come up in the once  vast compound full of the fragrance of roses and other flowers. The thrill that we experienced there during the wedding reception was lacking in the stuffy  wedding hall. These days very few bunglows with lush lawns are gardens are left around. Nasar Hashmat has maintained his garden very well. There are several others too but in thin minority now.

What is the alternative?

It may sound preposterous. But if you just cannot do without sharing your joy with others then there are two alternatives for you. You may invite your wedding guests in instalments. Whatever be the size of your accommodation, I am sure at least 10 to 15 persons can be accommodated easily without the need to hire furniture.  You may divide your  guests accordingly and  fix different days for them. On Sundays you can have three shifts—Lunch to some, At Home to others and Dinner to some more. You might say, ‘Who will arrange for the cooking so many times?’. Well, that would depend upon the housewife. If she is more of a domestic housewife and less of a working eve, she may like to shoulder the catering responsibility. But there are several  restaurants and shops which accept orders for lunch boxes and dinner boxes and will execute your order in no time. This will be one way of doing it.

The other way would be to send  packed meals to the houses of your dear ones. Or just send sweets to them. They will all be happy to receive the gifts at home, as it will save them the botheration of going all the distance to the wedding venue. If you have some special  persons in mind then you can send them costly stuff.  You can choose to be discriminatory in your attitude. No one would know what has been sent to the other because by and large you will be able to maintain uniformity in the items you send. Some of you might be wondering: If that happens, when will the bride and the bride groom receive the wedding gifts, the ‘nazranas’ and so on. But let me tell you that those who really love you will send a gift parcel even if they cannot come personally. However, it would be more graceful if you go personally to deliver a packet of sweets or of packed lunch or dinner as that would lend grace to your gesture. People go in person to give wedding cards. They can do  so to deliver the gift packs too.

If you calculate the costs, you may find that you will be better off. The nearly a lakh and a half rupees spent on hiring guest houses would be saved. Some such way will have to be found to make weddings.

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