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Son’s cross border wedding in two days, mother awaits visa

The visa is still “under process”.

jaipur Updated: Feb 15, 2018 22:22 IST
Salik Ahmad
Salik Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news,Sodha Rajputs,India
The border districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer host the maximum number of cross border weddings.(AFP/Representative image)

Paras Kanwar has been counting down the days to her son’s wedding with eager anticipation, but as things stand now, the 48-year-old will miss the big day. The reason: She is a Pakistani citizen and her visa has not been approved.

Kanwar’s son, Hameer Singh (27) is a doctor in Pakistan’s Umerkot and is marrying Vandana Kumari (25), who hails from Rajasthan’s Jalore district.

Hameer and his father, 56, have reached Jodhpur for the wedding, slated for this Sunday, on the Karachi-Jaipur Thar Express but Kanwar and her other son couldn’t come because their visa is still “under process”, said Kavita Kanwar, Hameer’s sister.

Kavita, a saree-designer by profession, was born in Pakistan, but grew up at her aunt’s place in India, and married in a Jodhpur family in 2013. “We are Sodha Rajputs and we all marry across the border,” said Kavita, who did the matchmaking for her younger brother.

“We all [Rajputs] lived in this area, scattered here and there, and one day the lines were drawn,” said the groom’s uncle Swaroop Singh Sodha, who lives in Jodhpur, referring to the Partition in 1947.

He said that the Rajputs left on the other side of the border are only Sodhas, and because the community does not marry within the clan, the Sodhas are left with no option but to seek alliance in what is now another country.

“The pre-wedding functions have all started but everything feels so incomplete without two members of the family. We went to Delhi, too, to request the officials but they said the visa is under process,” said Kavita.

She added that her brother’s wedding was fixed in 2016 and her family had come from Pakistan for the ceremony, but due to the death of an uncle living here, the wedding had to be postponed.

The border districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer host the maximum number of cross border weddings. Some 200 such weddings take place every year in western Rajasthan and apart from Rajputs, they are also common among Sindhis.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 22:21 IST