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Eunuch blessings fly abroad

entertainment Updated: Feb 09, 2012 02:00 IST
Shara Ashraf
Shara Ashraf
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

It’s not just exotic locations and fancy decor that marks the big, fat Indian destination wedding. In a new trend, couples who are opting to exchange vows at tourist hotspots are including all the desi elements, including hijras who are being flown along to bless the newlyweds.

Wedding planners in the city say families are keeping aside a handsome budget for the eunuchs’ flights, costumes, makeup, stay and gifts. Vineet Chauhan of Back 2 Culture, that organised a wedding for a Delhi-based couple in Jodhpur, says, “The client had a separate budget for flying 15 hijras, arranged for their stay, and had their makeup done by professionals.” Ayesha, 28, a eunuch who sings and dances at shaadis, recently went to a wedding in Singapore along with her group. She was flown first class and put up in a luxury hotel. “I came back with lovely gifts — top brand bags and jewellery,” says Ayesha.

It’s not just Indians who are taking eunuchs abroad. Foreigners who’re wedding in India are also inviting hijra groups for celebrations. Swati Chiripal of Sanskriti, a destination-wedding organiser, shares, “A Dutch client insisted that eunuchs perform at his sangeet.” Rekha Chawla of Mansa Weddings says that with a large number of clients asking for hijra performances, their dates are now booked in advance. Shashi Bhushan from Naaz, an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) rights NGO, says, “Eunuch blessings are considered auspicious, and foreigners are fascinated by the custom. Destination weddings have turned out a lucrative proposition for hijra them instead of door-to-door toli-badhai collections.”

Hijras charge around Rs 20,000 for performing abroad, and around Rs 5,000 - Rs 10,000 within India
Hotel stay: Rs 6,000-Rs 8,000 in India and Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 abroad
Budget for costumes, makeup and gifts: Rs 30,000 to Rs 3 lakh

Talk to us
Will you consider flying in eunuchs if you had a destination wedding? (htcity@hindustantimes.com)