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Of hartal and weddings

March 29, 2022

The past few days have been hectic, due to my son’s impending wedding on April 28th. Lot of travel, involving preparations, invitations and other allied activities. Last week  my wife and I were in Bangalore. I got a message from my friend aaking me when I would be reaching Trivandrum, the city of the wedding. I told her that we would be reaching on the 26th, 2 days before the wedding. After  a couple of hours, she texted again, saying ‘Govind, are you aware that there is a hartal on 28th and 29th?’. My heart skipped a beat. Hartal on 28th, but the wedding is on the 28th. A lot of things were going through my mind. A lot of preparations had already gone into the arrangements. Where does one start to undo all that and redo them on a later day.

My wife, wiser of the two,said, check the news. I was staying in a service apartment, which had a TV but no valid subscription for any channels. So I had to check the news on my mobile. I searched for ‘hartal on 28th’. There was a news item which said that the tourism industry was unhappy about the 2 day complete lockdown on 28th and 29th, just when business was picking up after the pandemic enforced closure. I was crestfallen. What to do now? I was wondering how the girl’s parents, who were already in Trivandrum, for the wedding preparations, had missed out this news. I had spoken to them, a day earlier, exchanging notes, and they had not mentioned of any hartal. My wife took the mobile from my hand and read the news item. ‘Arre buddhu’ (I had been thinking that it was a term of endearment, but that day I realized that she had been stating the state of my intellect all along) she said, ‘look at the date”. What about it, it is the 28th and 29th, isn’t it, I asked. It is 28th and 29th, she replied, but March not April. In my anxiety my brain had registered the dates correctly but not the month. I let out a big sigh of relief. My friend admitted that she thought the marriage was in March.

So the last 2 days we sat twiddling our thumbs, all plans gone awry, watching news on TV, livid at the way common people were put to hardship. The strike had little or no impact anywhere else. This was supposed to be a national strike, and as always it was only effective in Kerala, as it was almost a govt. sponsored one, because of the ruling communist government. Then how can it be a national strike? There is a river in Kerala, that originates in the Western Ghats flows into the Arabian Sea. It is called Bharathapuzha, puzha in Malayalam means river. There is a joke going on, if a river that flows only in Kerala can be called Bharathapuzha, why can’t a bandh that happens only in Kerala be called Bharath bandh.

We were worried about covid affecting the wedding. Now that the pandemic is abating, we are worried about hartals. So much for hartals. Okay that explains the hartal, but what about weddings that is mentioned in the heading. My wedding happened on a hartal day. I only hope that it does not run in the family.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2022 21:00

    A hartal on a wedding day
    Can, one’s peace-of-mind, take away
    But a merry mix-up
    Gave anxiety a let-up
    And all-will-be-well, we earnestly pray!

  2. Arathy permalink
    March 31, 2022 19:38

    Hartals and kerala go hand in hand like fish and water!
    Fingers crossed for no further bandhs πŸ™‚

  3. Arathy permalink
    March 31, 2022 19:40

    Hartals and Kerala go hand in hand like fish and water!
    Fingers crossed for no further bandhs :)🀞

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