Besides maintaining a log of cash and gifts given to his daughter and her groom at their wedding on Thursday, Ravinder Choudhary, a resident of Noida Sector 22, has had to maintain another diary — keeping track of the money he owes to relatives for various rituals.
After the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, Choudhary is unable to pay the guests ‘shagun’ or a token sum, considered auspicious.
In a north Indian wedding, rituals such as jootha churai (hiding the groom’s footwear), roka, chunni (gifting of fabrics), sagaai (engagement) and other rituals require the hosts to gift cash to relatives.
“This sum runs to thousands of rupees. It is impossible for us to give it multiples of Rs 100. So, we have kept a diary to maintain all these records. We will pay the relatives after we get the new notes,” said Ravinder’s brother, Jaichand Choudhary.
He said the family had taken a loan against their property. “All that cash is in notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. They have become pieces of paper,” said Jaichand.
The Choudharys are finding to difficult to pay the caterers, the DJ, the flower seller and for other wedding arrangements.
“All our hopes went down the drain. In our community, fat weddings are common. People expect a lot of pomp and show. Let alone lavish arrangements, we are not even able to pay for basic things such as food, music and the decorations,” said Jaichand.
Ravinder had to pay Rs 50,000 in advance to the caterer on Tuesday. “The caterer refused to take Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. He also refused to work unless we paid him,” said Jaichand.
The bride’s father was forced to borrow Rs 100 notes from relatives and friends to keep the wedding going. Jaichand said they managed to collect Rs 60,000.
On Thursday — the wedding day — as new notes began to be reissued, nobody from the Choudhary family could rush to the banks.
The Mathurs of Sector 34 are also a worried lot. Their daughter is set to get married on November 18.
“I have deposited the cash I had with me in the bank on Thursday, but only got Rs 10,000 cash because of the per-day limit. The wedding is within a week. The limit for a week is just Rs 20,000. At this rate, I won’t be able to complete the cash payments in time for the wedding,” said Deepak Mathur, who works at a private firm.
He said he might have borrow from those who have collected new notes. Wherever possible, he is trying to pay using cards. “We are trying to buy most items from shopping malls. But there are many items which have to be bought from smaller shops,” he said.