"the wedding was postponed due to the sealing of the border"
An Indian man married a Nepali woman after eight months of waiting. This was due to the India-Nepal border being sealed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The groom was from the village of Jaayal in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
After initially being arranged for March, the wedding eventually took place on November 21, 2020, after both families obtained permission from local administrations of both countries.
After permission was obtained, the 25-year-old man crossed the border along with five wedding guests and a priest. He later returned with his new wife.
Chintamani Bhatt is the groom. He said: “I had gone to meet my fiancée on February 28.
“Later, my family fixed the wedding in March, but the wedding was postponed due to the sealing of the border because of Covid-19 pandemic.”
Chintamani was arranged to marry 19-year-old Ambika, a resident of Gurukhola village in the Baitri district of western Nepal.
According to a relative, after the border was sealed, both families decided to postpone the wedding and wait until the lockdown was lifted.
When an auspicious date came, both families decided to hold the wedding.
The families approached authorities within their respective districts to ask for their permission to cross the border.
Chintamani continued: “When the auspicious month for the wedding came, both families felt that it would not be proper to postpone the wedding anymore.
“So they applied for permissions to cross the border from their respective local administration”.
Chintamani travelled to the village of Jhulaghat and crossed into Nepal via a suspension bridge which connected the two countries.
The groom explained that he went with five wedding guests and a priest in the morning and returned later that evening with the Nepali woman.
KN Nagarkoti, in-charge, Seema Shashtra Bal (SSB) outpost, Jhulaghat bridge, said,
“The bridge was opened only for the baratis to cross the border on the permission of the administration.
“When the barat returned we closed the bridge again.”
Pramod is a local trader in Jhulaghat and revealed that it was the first wedding in the area after lockdown. He said:
“This is the first wedding in the area after lockdown.
“Citizens of both bordering areas have ‘Roti-beti’ (trade and family) relations with each other but sealing of the border prevented them from strengthening the relations this year.”