On last Sunday, when the flood waters quickly submerged the ground floor of their house in Natipora area of flooded Srinagar, Myrah (name changed on request) and her family minus the father fled in a rescue boat to a relative’s house in Jawahar Nagar. The father took refuge on the second floor.
But soon the relative’s house too got marooned and the bride and the family were evacuated back to Natipora in another relative’s house.
Unlike thousands of people who announced through newspaper ads and social networking sites the postponement of the weddings of their wards when flood alerts were sounded, Myrah`s family had hoped the rain will stop and the wedding would be held on the scheduled day, Monday.
As communcation systems were the among the first things knocked out by the flood, the worst since a century, there was no way the family could announce the deferment of the wedding.
“Myrah told me ‘I don’t know whether I am going to get married tomorrow or not`. What she said was both funny and painful,” said Naziya, her friend.
Then the surprise. The bridegroom had come to know about the bride’s whereabouts through rescuers. Not decked up the way as he would have been in normal circumstances but decently enough to be recognised as one, the bridegroom arrived in a boat along with a relative at the house where the bride had taken shelter.
“The bride’s departure in the absence of her father would have added to the overall gloom surrounding the truncated celebrations. Therefore the bridegroom evacuated the father-in-law who then saw the couple off,” said Abdul Gani, their neighbour.
September is the wedding season in Kashmir. Nearly all ceremonies, which involve lavish feasts, have been deferred because of the flood. Huge economic losses also mean weddings will be austere, dealing a further blow to chefs, mutton dealers and jewellers.