ARIYALUR: As janata curfew on March 23 fell on an auspicious day, several marriages witnessed sparse crowd, predominantly close relatives of the bride and groom. Also, in many places police appealed to parents of couples-to-be to complete rituals and leave the marriage halls by 9 am.
Parents of Karthik and Ranjitha arranged two big vessels of water and kept at the entrance of the marriage hall near Anaikkarai so that visitors could wash their hands. Two persons ensured all visitors washed hands with soap before entering in. Police requested parents of Karthik and Ranjitha to advance the marriage by two hours, and they agreed. The marriage was scheduled between 7.30 and 9 am but was over by 7 am. The wedding was decided three months ago, A Veeramani, a relative of the family, said. Elsewhere, visitors were welcomed with hand sanitizers along with rosewater, sandal, flowers and candy. With public transport not available, attendance at marriage halls was limited. The organizers of marriages arranged vans and cars from villages to transport relatives and well wishers. For Gunasekaran of Pudukkudi, his son’s marriage was a brainstorming moment.
The administration of the HR and CE temple at Jayankondam, where the marriage was planned, at the eleventh hour informed him the event could be held there and the temple would be closed on Sunday.
Wisely, Gunasekaran changed the marriage venue to a private temple at nearby Sengunthapuram. However, he had to call every relative to inform about the change of venue. So not all the relatives were able to turn up in time and others kept on inquiring about the new venue to him on his mobile phone.
The marriages in the families of politicians too got minimal crowd resulting in waste of food items. Also, the invited politicos and local heavyweights stayed away.
“We cooked for 2000 people but less than 1000 people turned up. We plan to donate the food to needy,” lamented a person in a Jayankondam marriage hall.
Marriages in Tiruchy too did not see much crowd. At a wedding, the couple were carrying hand sanitizer and seen applying to every guest before shaking hands with them.
Front gates of halls closed
In Thanjavur, many marriages scheduled between 9 am to 10.30 am were advanced to 4.30 am. In some cases, the marriages were postponed. A catering contractor told TNIE that guests were asked to disperse by 7 pm. In some places, the front gates of the marriage halls were closed after the designated hours, leaving the marriage parties to leave through the back door.