Lifestyle & Belief

60,000 weddings in Delhi today


Members from the Rajan Band, Kotla Mubarakpur prepare prior to performing at a wedding on November 23, 2011 in New Delhi, India.


Daniel Berehulak

As a brass band marches past my window, the Indian Express informs me that Delhi will witness a whopping 60,000 weddings on Monday, which Hindu priests have identified as the most auspicious day of the year to tie the knot.

Get ready for chaos on the roads.

Virtually every banquet hall in the city has been booked. Horses -- ridden by the groom in the ceremony procession -- are in short supply. And the ubiquitous wedding bands are doing bang-up business, the paper says.

Meanwhile, traffic police have decided on stringent measures to book violators and deploy extra personnel to ensure smooth vehicular movement, the Express says.

According to the policy and norms, farmhouses where wedding ceremonies are scheduled have to accommodate vehicles of all the guests, but this rule is often flouted. “Since the guests turnout in these functions is more than expected, people park their cars on the roads, leading to jams. This time we have decided that if cars are parked outside on the roads, we will videograph the locations as evidence for the cancellation of permission to hold social functions of such farmhouses,” said Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).

Huge numbers of weddings occurring on the same day is nothing new for India. Most families still adhere to Hindu rituals that mandate weddings be performed on auspicious days, determined by astrology. But as ceremonies grow more and more elaborate, the disruption to day to day life has begun to spin out of control.

Even a modest Indian wedding will have 600 guests, a horse (or horse and carriage), and a brass marching band. Going up the scale from there, you get everything from elephants to helicopters. And of course, the bhangra. Always the bhangra.