When the Kabilans and Prasads started planning Harish and Archa’s wedding seven months ago for April 18, they factored in a thousand little things but forgot all about the biggest hurdle of all — the 2014 general elections.
“I had to shift some of the pre-wedding functions that were originally scheduled for April 17 as friends and relatives said they would not be able to travel to Patna on polling day,” said Archa’s father, Dr JN Prasad.
The guest list had to be trimmed and alternate arrangements had to be made to ferry guests. “Family members on poll duty could not make it. And anticipating restrictions in movement of vehicular traffic, I had to take vehicle permits for a bus and four light motor vehicles,” he added.
Families of Gautam Adhikari-Tripti Gupta, Shruti Priya-Digant Vishnu and Nimisha Singh-Prabhat Singh, other couples who got married on the same day, went through a similar experience.
From the smallest garland to the largest music band, nothing comes easy when it is poll time, as they realised eventually.
“Had there been no polling on April 17, we would have saved on one day of hotel expenditure. We are from the bride’s side. We have a lot of expenditure anyway,” said Gautam Kumar, brother of Tripti, who arrived from Gorakhpur two days before the wedding.
Aditi Kumar, Shruti’s first cousin, said, “Lack of commercial vehicles and people’s hesitation in using their own vehicles during elections, resulted in fewer guests at the pre-wedding ceremonies. This led to a huge wastage of food.”
Relatives of Ara-native Nimisha, who married Prabhat, had to wait till evening to get a vehicle to the hotel, when they arrived in Patna from Ara on April 17.
“We even thought of postponing the marriage. But, we wouldn’t have got venue of our choice so we went ahead,” said Nimisha’s maternal uncle Awadh Bihari Singh, a Guwahati-based businessman.
“In Guwahati, people cast votes and get on with their work. But here, for the larger part of the polling day, the city seemed to be under curfew,” added Singh.