Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Band, Baaja, Baraat and cuddle curtains



Band, Baaja, Baraat and cuddle curtains

Wedding planners are including thermal scanners, sanitizers and cuddle curtains — because everybody needs a hug — in their packages. What’s next? Kanjeevaram masks?
The Covid-19 pandemic has not spared the big fat Indian wedding. When once upon a time you would spend hours matching silk sarees and blouses pieces and jewellery, families of brides and grooms are now calling up medical equipment companies. If you’re lucky enough to be attending a wedding and are one of the privileged 50 guests (the state has mandated that a wedding can’t have more than 50 guests) you will probably be greeted with Thermal scanner, cuddle curtains and N95 masks, that is if you’ve forgotten to take your own. Sprinkles of rose water, flowers at the entrance and haldi-kum kum seem to be relegated to some hazy past.
Clearly band, baaja and baraat have taken a back seat. Interestingly, wedding planners are offering special wedding packages in Covid times.
The Covid pandemic has changed how

weddings
are conducted. Since the lockdown is in force, the governments (Centre and State) have been systematically cutting down on big weddings in choultries. In addition to this, it is the responsibility of the organiser to ensure that all the safety measures are unsuitable and safety protocols are followed.

Since safety takes precedence over taambula and the plantain leaf meal, this is the first thing the bride and the groom’s parents insist on say, wedding planners. Social mediate is flooded with messages from wedding organisers requiring bulk orders of safety items like masks and hand sanitizers.
Ever since the Covid pandemic, people are forced to enjoy physical distancing. However, no wedding is complete without those emotional hugs and touching the feet (ashirvaad). So, to enable people to be as normal as possible and yet follow safety protocols, the cuddle curtains are in great demand
Seshagiri Rao, wedding planner
Ravi Shankar, who heads an event management company said, “Only those who are in a hurry are getting married. When I say lunge, it can be several reasons. Like those who had already fixed their wedding dates long ago (before Covid-19 ) or those who don’t want to wait any longer to get married. The demand may go up soon if the lockdown is extended further as there are several auspicious dates in June. Our packages vary but every package will include safety items like masks and hand sanitizers, thermometers etc.”
There are several packages being offered. Among the low-end packages (which excludes the venue and catering cost), a Rs 1,51000 package includes invitation card design, mehendi artist, photo booth, decoration for one car, mandapam and entrance door, cake, basic sound system with two mikes, photography and videography, thermal screening for guest, UV hand sanitisation station, cuddle curtain and sanitizers (50 ml) for 50 persons and masks (50 nos). There is a slightly higher package which comes at Rs 1,91,000 which includes photo album with 50 sheets, bridal make up and Sannai melam.


Cuddle curtains
Wedding planners say that there is a great demand for cuddle curtains. According to them, cuddle curtains are transparent screens, much like a shower curtain, which are used to hug a person, keeping safety protocols in mind. It was first invented by Anthony Cauvin, who wanted to hug his grandmother in a Covid quarantine. It separates the two people hugging and is equipped with long sleeves for both the people to push their hands into and hug each other. “Ever staunch the Covid pandemic, people are forced to maintain physical distancing. However, no wedding is complete without those emotional hugs and touching of feet (ashirvaad). So, to enable people to be as normal as possible and yet follow safety protocols, the cuddle curtains are in mountainous demand,” said Seshagiri Rao, another wedding planner.
Ravish Kumar, another wedding organiser said, “Even the welcome gift/drink has changed now. Earlier, when someone would walk into a wedding hall, guests were welcomed with rose water, flowers and welcome drinks. Now, guests are given a health kit which includes masks and sanitisers. This will help the guests to safeguard themselves for the entire wedding session.” Another wedding planner said that they were ensuring social distancing by keeping the venues in huge houses, club houses in apartments or in community halls. Chairs and tables are placed at six feet distance. Even while serving lunch, guests are made to sit at one metre distance from each other. Of course, the chefs and those serving food are equipped with masks and gloves.
Ananta Krishna, a prospective groom said, “Weddings aren’t fixed overnight. So, a lot of weddings were planned a long time ago when no one had a clue that something like this would happen. However, the new safety measures are opening up new challenges where you miss that personal touch. As we have no other option, we have to conform to the new rules. It is better to take precautions, because even if a single person tests positive, the consequences are scary.”
Recently a photo went viral of a bride in Assam wearing a beautifully embroidered silk mask. What’s next? A kancheevaram mask?
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SRC: https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/band-baaja-baraat-and-cuddle-curtains/articleshow/76099069.cms

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