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MARRIAGE MAKEOVER Muhurthams move away from the morning as weddings in the evening become popular
MARRIAGE MAKEOVER Muhurthams move away from the morning as weddings in the evening become popular

Evening weddings are becoming popular because it makes practical sense for a busy, cosmopolitan city

Weddings. The images that crop up are the warm sun in the forenoon, a happy couple, bright kancheepurams and a banana leaf sadya with payasam or a sumptuous non vegetarian buffet. Not any more as Keralites are going in for evening weddings, lured by the glamour of the bright lights, the convenience of the guests and and the availability of halls. Nandini Das, a creative home-maker, wanted to add a dash of excitement and innovation to her sister Urmila's marriage, and surprised their conservative Gowda-Saraswat family, with the idea of a late-evening marriage. "Urmila's being the last wedding in the family, I wanted it to be different, and simultaneously have all members' participation. As all we could get was a working-day-muhurtham. I thought it'd be wonderful to bring back the old-tradition of evening-marraige, and fixed the muhurtham from 6.30-7.30 p.m. M.K.George, had numerous reasons to opt for an evening wedding for his daughter TessaBeing a busy bank manager himself, he was acutely aware of the inconvenience of the invitees to take part in a morning wedding. During Sundays there is a huge rush in churches. Working day marriages highly distract office-work. Consequently, guests are in no mood to have fun Put together with it the nasty traffic-blocks of Kochi and the guests only feel worse about a wedding at the peak hours in the morning. I wanted everyone to have a whale of a time"Aesthetic reasons were considered too. An evening celebration with illumination and, changing colours of dusk as the background creates a romantic backdrop," he says."This trend started in 1998, and gained momentum by around 2000. Now it's becoming popular owing to a variety of reasons : the unavailability of halls, fast life of the people with no time to spare waiting for halls, difficulty in getting Sunday muhurthams etc," says Anantharaman of Vinayaka Kalyanamandapam. L. K. Krishnan Kutty from TDM hall, agrees with Anantharaman, "When actor Jyotirmayi decided to go for an evening-marrige, we were taken aback, as it was not popular in South India. But in 2005, about 5-6 marriages from the Nair-Menon community took place in the evening. Otherwise, it's mostly Muslims who choose this timing. TDM Hall has been booked till December. So, many people are forced to accept this system. Earlier, it was just the North Indians who followed this system. But now, Keralites belonging to several communities have started embracing it. An evening wedding for April 2006, has already been fixed, and we're looking forward to more evening bookings. Altogether, looks as if this trend has come here to stay."Astrologer Madhavan Nair has clients who come specifically asking for evening muhurthams. Engineer Latheef, working in West Asia, who got both his daughters married in evening ceremonies feels there's nothing new about it. "In Muslim society, it's not as rare as it is among other communities. I found it convenient and enjoyable. All the friends and family-members could gather and have a memorable evening. We'd have missed the presence of very dear friends and relatives had my girls been married on busy working day mornings or afternoons," he says.Kochi seems set for several radiant evening marriages, in the background of stars and lights. CHANDNI RAJ

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