In Indian communities it is customary for the bridegroom to travel to the wedding venue on a mare, in a long procession consisting of a music, band, dancers and family members. Bands sometimes are also a part of funeral processions.
Now with the coronavirus pandemic, and physical distancing restrictions celebrations have simmered down drastically. With no bookings for months, some wedding bands are selling their buggy, lights and even the mare.
A drummer, Khurshid Siddiqui who ran a band business in capital New Delhi said there hasn’t been a single booking in months, not from weddings, celebrations such as births and not even the odd funeral. He has given up his shop and has reduced to selling old clothes by the roadside.
All our old bookings were cancelled due to which even the little money that was left with us had to be returned, he said.
“I have completely stopped the work that had carried on for generations in my family. I have sent some of the items to my village, sold some and am selling clothes,” he added.
Another band owner who spent US$ 6,200 to buy a buggy, lights and a mare, all necessary for a big fat Indian wedding is now ready to sell everything for US$ 700. The buggy that he bought was partly damaged in the recent rains and floods.
The coronavirus pandemic and frequent imposition of lockdowns have wrecked havoc in the lives of small time businesses and daily wage laborers.
India’s economy contracted nearly 24% in April, May and June amid the coronavirus pandemic and during this time close to 122 million people lost their jobs according to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy.