Two sisters in central India’s state of Madhya Pradesh momentarily swapped grooms during a quadruple wedding function when a power cut — coupled with the tradition of wearing a veil — led to a bizarre mix-up of the brides.
The bungled wedding, which happened on Thursday in the village of Aslana, around 250km away from the state’s capital city Bhopal, came to national attention after a local media report in the Hindi language went viral on social media.
The bizarre mix-up happened after the father of the brides, Rameshlal Railot, who belongs to the bheel tribal community, decided to organise the weddings of his son and three daughters all on the same day, according to a wedding invitation seen by The Independent.
All three sisters wore the same bridal outfits and had their faces covered with a veil, in keeping with local traditions, when they arrived for the wedding rituals, a relative who attended the wedding told The Independent.
But as the pre-wedding function began at around 9pm in the evening, the town suffered a power outage and two of Mr Railot’s daughters ended up sitting with the wrong groom for the initial wedding ceremonies.
One daughter named Nikita, who was to marry a man called Bhola, swapped grooms with her sister Karishma, who was to marry Ganesh. The grooms were not related.
The two brides performed a number of pre-wedding rituals with the wrong partner before power was restored and the family members realised the mistake.
An elder brother of Mr Railot, Sitaram, who goes by only a first name, said one bride’s hand was given to the wrong groom due to the power failure, which he described as a regular occurrence in the village.
“They did not exchange garlands or wedding vows, but the [mixup] happened for one of the rituals,” he said.
Sitaram said the village does not have proper electricity pylons and the incident showed how serious a problem the frequent power outages could be for the locals.
“It is insulting for us — because of a power failure we suffered this humiliation,” he said.
He added that the wedding otherwise “continued as planned”, with the wedding vows exchanged — with the right grooms — as soon as the power came back on after midnight.
The residents of the village said that the fact the lights came on just in time to prevent the wrong wedding vows being exchanged had restored their belief in the saying that matches are made in heaven.
While the Indian government says it brought mains electricity to the last unconnected village in 2018, in reality many remote parts of the country suffer from intermittent power supply, either through rationing or poor maintenmaint of lines.
And in recent weeks power cuts have become particularly widespread, even for major cities, with an unseasonal spring heatwave leading to a surge in power demand for cooling.