‘When you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want your rest of life to start as soon as possible’ this dialogue from the movie When Harry Met Sally can express better how Nazr-e-Alam was also excited about his dream wedding. However, Alam’s excitement for the dream wedding faded when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an unprecedented nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Nazr-e-Alam, 27-year-old, works in a renowned petroleum company in Mumbai earning Rs. 14000 per month. He stays in one room including kitchen and bathroom with his two more colleagues in Mahul, Chembur. He was very happy with his work as he was earning enough to make his ends meet.
“My total salary is Rs. 17000 per month. But I get only about Rs. 14000 per month after deduction for PF and other corporate stuff. I am somehow satisfied with my work because I have financial security here,” told Alam.
Alam hails from Siwan district, Bihar. Since he was satisfied with his work and life he planned to get married. His wedding was scheduled for 14 April. As the day of his wedding was approaching, his happiness was intensifying. The wedding card was distributed. The hotel and cars were booked for guests.
“Everything was booked for my wedding. We have shell out Rs. 25,000 as an advance against the hotel booking. Moreover, advance payment of Rs. 2000 was also made for cars for Baratis (procession in a wedding),” added Alam while showing his wedding card photo in his cell phone.
Alam went on saying that he has already begun buying some necessary stuff for his wedding in Mumbai. “I have bought some dresses for my bride-to-be and myself. I was also planning to buy some gifts for her (bride-to-be). We used to talk about how our dream wedding will look like almost every day,” added Alam.
However, the unprecedented lockdown came as a shock for Alam, his bride-to-be and both the families. “We have been really looking forward to our dream wedding. But, now the dream wedding is just a dream for us,” said Alam. Disappointment could be seen on his face. “I was having a reservation ticket for my native place on 1 April,” Alam added further.
Although, Alam had planned for a dream wedding, now, for him, the wedding is important. That is why he has been trying to leave Mumbai for his native place as soon as possible but his efforts are going in vain.
“I have already submitted the form to be eligible for going native home 12 days ago. Private vehicles are very expensive for travelling from Mumbai to Bihar. That is why I am desperately waiting for my name to be selected for going native place by train (the special trains for migrants). As soon as I will reach home, I will perform Nikah (Islamic ritual for getting married) with a very small gathering, about 20-30 people,” Alam shared his plan to get married in a simple way because of the lockdown.
“We will organize reception once this lockdown is fully lifted. But for now, Nikah is important for us,” added Alam.
Alam is not the only one whose plan for a dream wedding is shattered. Many are either postponing their weddings or getting married with very few gatherings to avoid violation of social distancing rules that was advised across India in the wake of the Coronavirus.