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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: It is said that marriages are made in heaven and when you are destined to meet your life partner, nothing would stop you from getting together forever. For Amarendra and Anindita, love has found its way and blended their two hearts for a lifetime in the auspicious bond of marriage.

They were aware that a marriage in the times of a pandemic like COVID-19 cannot be an ostentatious affair, and so the wedding, held at the groom's house in Thoria Sahi of Cuttack, had only 9 invitees from both the groom and bride’s family.

"Yes, there are certain restrictions which are imposed due to COVID-19 lockdown. If we maintain social distancing and follow government guidelines properly, then I think there's no issue. It's not always necessary to hold a marriage in a grand way. But rituals definitely play an important part," says Anindita (Lina), who belongs to Puri.

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Unfortunately, Lina's father who happens to be a 'fauji' could not attend the wedding ceremony as he is currently on duty.

"As per traditions, 'Jai Anukula' had been conducted long back before the lockdown was declared. Since the family didn’t want to postpone the wedding, we went ahead with the schedule. To be frank, I wanted to make this a grand affair and throw a huge party to my friends and relatives. But as there are restrictions, we organised it as per conditions set by the government and so there were fewer than 50 guests," says groom Amarendra (Rilu).

It is to be noted that the Centre has allowed marriage functions during the lockdown-3 that began on May 4, but the organisers must ensure that proper social distancing is maintained. As per the new MHA guidelines, the maximum number of guests allowed for such gatherings should not be more than 50.

On April 28, another couple from Odisha's Nuagaon block in Nayagarh district tied the knot at the Collectorate in presence of only a few administrative officials and family members in the wake of coronavirus lockdown. The couple even contributed to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to help the State government in COVID management.

There were many others including some police personnel who realised the gravity of the situation and preferred to postpone their scheduled weddings.

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