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Flying high on lavish Punjabi weddings

Brides and grooms in Punjab prefer private helicopters to make their wedding a truly 'high-flying' one.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2006 08:58 IST

Brides and grooms in Punjab are no longer prepared to ride in the usual flower-bedecked cars but prefer private helicopters to make their wedding a truly 'high-flying' one.

Take the instance of Britain-based NRI Parwinderjit Singh who flew in for his marriage in a chartered private helicopter and took his bride back to her new home in the same chopper.

"The sight of seeing a sobbing bride leaving her family and stepping into a helicopter was unusual and amusing. Usually we see flower-bedecked cars in which the bride is taken," said Shamsher Singh, who witnessed the newly weds take the airborne 'doli' at a resort on the outskirts of Jalandhar, 150 km from Chandigarh.

This was neither the first time that a Punjab groom had flown in for his wedding nor will it be the last.

"Seeing the chopper at this wedding, I have already got bookings for two more weddings in January and February," said the pilot who flew the 'doli'.

The excited NRI bridegroom said that he wanted his wedding to be special and hence he and his family thought of hiring the helicopter. The bride was surprised too.

"I always wanted my wedding to be a special affair but had never thought even in my dreams that my groom would come in a chopper," said Anureet Kaur of village Boarwal in Batala.

A chopper costs Rs50,000 for an hour of flying.

The helicopter was not the only thing hired by the groom's family.

A special small unmanned aircraft was flown over the venue with remote control to shower flower petals on the couple and the wedding guests. This also cost another Rs25,000.

Many Punjabi families regularly book limousines - modified Lincolns, Mercedes and other long cars - for weddings to take the groom for the wedding and bring back the bride.

Such cars are easily available across main cities in Punjab, especially Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Mohali.

In sharp contrast was the wedding of another youth in the neighbouring Nawanshahr district when the groom, Vijay Kumar, pedaled 15 km from his home to that of the bride's in another village for his marriage.

"I have a car and other vehicles but I thought that being simple was the greatest virtue. Many of my friends and family members accompanied me for the journey on cycles," Vijay said.

He not only took his 'baraat' (groom's party) till the bride's village on cycles but also had her 'doli' on the rear carrier of the same cycle.

The bride, Mandeep Kaur, seemed quite happy at being driven back on the cycle. Coming from a not-so-rich family, she said she was impressed by the move of her husband

First Published: Dec 16, 2006 08:58 IST