Date first, marriage next

Before couples say their marriage vows, they must wow the priest first, says SOUVIK CHOWDHURY

THIS IS a classic case when people who help others tie the knot are finding themselves in knots. Call it a coincidence, but this period — particularly December 2, 4, 15, 16 — is a rare auspicious occasion to solemnise a marriage for both the Hindus and the Muslims. Those who matter the most, however, — of course, after the bride and bridegroom — pundits and qazis are surprisingly in short supply.

Having to burn midnight oil to keep pace with a sudden increase in the demand of their services, pundits are solemnising as many weddings as they can — in some cases, each conducting six-seven marriages a day.

Qazis too are working late making as much use of the time as it happens only once in 10 years or so that the Hindu and the Muslim wedding calendar coincides. According to the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board assistant general secretary, Rahim Qureshi, "For Muslims, it is the month of Shawwal when most weddings take place. The following two months are equally favourable for marriages Dhiqada and Wilhajja. It is quite a rare occurrence when Hindus and Muslims both follow the lunar calendar. During this time, qazis conduct up to 50 marriages a day, as once the month of Muharram sets in, it is unfavourable for weddings."

As per the Hindu almanac, the shaadi season generally starts in mid-May and continues till December, with the bulk of ceremonies taking place once the monsoon is over in September.

The spell is on full swing during November — particularly this year, when November 27 and 28 witnessed an unprecedented 12,000 weddings in Delhi alone, and possibly many more around the country, on the said days.

Date first, marriage next

The effects of the lucky muhurtam — Mrigesira Nakshtram, it seems, stretches on to the month of December as well, considering that almost all the wedding and function halls in the twin cities are booked on December 2, 4, 15, 16, 19 and 24.

In fact, a few wedding halls are booked throughout the month till January 2. "We are having to turn down at least a dozen requests for venue every day," says Mohammad Layeeq-ud-din, manager, Sridhar Function Plaza in Khairatabad.

Archaka B. Rama Sharma says, "On December 2, 4 and 8, many marriages will be solemnised in Hyderabad and elsewhere, too. After December 18, till the second week of February, it is inauspicious. The next suitable period starts again only from the third week of March."

Date first, marriage next

Pundit Ramana Pantalu, who conducted seven marriages on November 18 and has around the same number of nuptials to perform on December 2, says: "We are busier than usual, thanks to the favourable planetary position, which is believed to help ensure a happy and blissful conjugal life. I have had to turn down many offers for performing wedding, as I am already flooded with requests. I have no dates till the second week of December."

Such auspicious occasions come once in a blue moon when getting a date with qazis and pundits is as difficult as getting married...

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