For Aniket Mehra, father to a 25 year old daughter, it was a big day. “I always wanted a princess and fairy tale wedding for my princess”, said the textile exporter in Pritampura.
The 60 year old father did all that he could do to make the day -28 November-memorable by roping in top class decorators and organizing a theme party.
Among the Baniyas (a business community), marriage is more about celebration as about flaunt. Mr. Gupta added that about 40% of the payments were already cleared and jewelry about 1 Crore was already purchased over a month ago. However, his dreams got crashed on the night of 8 November when PM Modi announced the 500 and 100 rupee notes to be an illegal tender. For Mr. Gupta, this new rule meant that he could withdraw only 50k per week from his account (Current account) and 24k from Savings account and a total to maximum 2.5 lakh for his princess’ marriage.
The most convenient option of borrowing was already ruled out as nobody had “new cash”. “I had no idea what to do”, said Mr. Mehra. “Nobody was accepting old notes and some even denied cheque payments due to long bank queues”. His savings were in plenty, but were all useless as it was the old currency.
Demonetization ruined his daughter’s wedding. Eventually, the celebrations had to be scaled down to one fifth of the actual budget.
Mr. Mehra was not the only one hit. The big fat Indian wedding had lost its flab as demonetization gave a sucker punch to the industry that was growing at the rate of 25% annually.
No longer, there were high budget weddings or destination weddings. It was undoubtedly a massive hit to the industry. Some even had to cancel the overseas wedding and all the advance paid by them had to be forfeited.
The worst hit in the industry was the wedding planners. From Band Baaja and Baarat it all came down to Bank Baj Gaya.
People were now renegotiating and pleading to accept old currencies and even rescheduling the wedding dates. The gold prices and the fish prices saw a big hike. But while this was going on there were some instances where the Notebandi paid off.
When PM Modi announced the demonetization policy on November 8. A father found an unexpected support. He was getting his daughter married in 10 days. He had stretched himself off financially to ensure that the wedding was a grand affair due to circumstances put forth by the daughters in laws. Though he had already spent a whopping 4 crore, he was forced to spend another 1 crore for arranging entertainers from Bollywood. He had pleaded his inability to spend more. Still, he was also asked to gift 100 luxury watches to the wedding guests. Where November 8 shocked the country his worries came to end on that day. “Modi saved me. I ran out of cash and the groom’s family could not do much about it” he grinned.