Undeterred by the coronavirus lockdown, a 23-year-old man in Uttar Pradesh kept his marriage date even if he had to pedal some 100 km to reach his bride's home, all alone -- no family members in tow.
Kalku Prajapati of Pauthiya village in Hamirpur district was waiting till the last minute for permission from the administration for his marriage on April 25.
But on finding that it was not coming, he decided to go all alone on his bicycle to his bride Rinki's place at Puniya village in neighbouring Mahoba district, 230 km south of Lucknow.
"We were not getting permission from the local police for the marriage. I was left with no option but to go on bicycle, all alone, to reach there," Prajapati, who studied till Class X and a farmer by profession, said.
"Those people (in-laws) had also got wedding cards printed and were ready for the wedding on the decided date," Prajapati told PTI over phone.
The marriage was fixed four-five months ago. The bride's family had phoned for the ceremony and Prajapati went for it, according to his father.
"Though I have a motorcycle, I have no driving licence. Bicycle was most handy," Prajapati said. "With a handkerchief around my mouth to save myself from any infection, as advised by all, I set off in the morning in jeans and T-shirt."
Interestingly, the wedding was performed in a village temple with both the bride and the groom posing before camera in their normal attires with mouths covered, a picture for posterity of the times prevailing during their wedding.
Only the most necessary of ceremonies were held and the couple now awaits for the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown for the remaining functions, including a feast for the villagers, to be completed.
"We will get the cards printed and invite all those who had been inviting us since years and also complete the remaining ceremonies," Prajapati said.
If anything, the return journey after the marriage was even more arduous for Prajapati who had to carry his newlywed wife as pillion.
"I pedalled all the way back with double load. Even in my dream, I had not thought that my legs will have such pain. I could not sleep and had to take pills to ease it," he recalled, adding that both the families were happy that the marriage had been solemnised.
On why Prajapati did not wait for lifting of the lockdown, he said there were problems at his home with his mother keeping unwell and there being no one to cook for the family.
"Besides, we do not know how long it will take for the lockdown to be lifted," he added. PTI SAB SMI