The Corona pandemic has changed the way people work, marry and socialise
J S Ifthekhar | Clarion India
HYDERABAD — Syed Javeed was the happiest man the other day. He could marry off his daughter without any hassles and at no cost. Yes, the marriage was a simple affair which he couldn’t imagine. And it was all over in just two hours in the early hours of the day. The handful of guests who turned up at the Maharaja Function Hall at Fateh Darwaza in Hyderabad’s old city were also surprised at the sheer simplicity of the wedding.
Every cloud has a silver lining. So is the present lockdown. Making a virtue of necessity, many families are going in for early morning marriages. And as a result ending up saving a lot of money and effort. Thanks to the Covid surge, early morning marriages are becoming the norm in Hyderabad. Don’t be surprised if you get an invite for marriage at the crack of dawn. With corona surge anything is possible. The pandemic has changed the way people work, marry and socialise. Hyderabad is known for marriages which go past midnight, particularly in the Muslim community. But of late the city is bucking the trend – or so it seems.
In order to beat the lockdown deadline, many families are preferring early morning marriages. Performing Nikah after ‘namaz-e-Fajr’ is the trend now. Soon after the dawn prayer at 5.15 a.m, the mehfile-nikah is taking place in many mosques. And by 8 a.m the guests are served food and the whole thing is over in the next couple of hours – something unheard of.
“In the present circumstances it is a good idea. We can complete the ceremony early in the day and people can go home before lockdown takes effect”, said a beaming Javeed relieved at the marriage of his daughter. A vegetable seller, he also hosted a simple meal for the 50-odd guests.
For years religious scholars and social reformers have been campaigning without much success for making Muslim marriages simple and hassle-free. But now the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions have achieved what they couldn’t. Families who are against extravagant celebrations are opting for the easy way out of conducting marriages during the window of lockdown relaxation rather than postponing the event for a future date.
The number, of course, is small. Nevertheless the trend is healthy and desirable. Majority of those opting for early morning marriages are the poor followed by some middle class families. The Covid restrictions on number of guests to be invited and the tiny window of relaxation given in the lockdown comes as a godsend opportunity to families which couldn’t afford pompous weddings and yet lack the spine to stand up to unjust societal norms.
“What could have been a blessing in disguise is being misused by some dowry mongers. They are still forcing the brides’ families to compensate for the money thus saved through some other means. The greediness among women is to be blamed for this,” says Aleem Khan Falaki of Socio-Reform Society. He has been working hard for eradication of the dowry menace from the Muslim community.
There are no hard-and-fast rules that one should get married only in the afternoon or evening. Nor are there any reception timeline. In fact morning weddings tend to be a lot cheaper with the elaborate ceremonies and sumptuous dinners cut down to bare minimum. “The present trend is good and I wish it continues”, says Qazi Amjad Hussain who has solemnised many morning marriages during the present lockdown.
Surely every bad situation has some good aspect to it.
J S Ifthekhar is a Hyderabad-based journalist with over four decades of experience