Inviting Hardship

A simple thing like inviting a friend to your son’s marriage has been rendered not-so-simple as people go to great lengths to choose an invitation card. Syed Asma reports

As the marriage ceremonies become lavish in Kashmir, people put a lot of effort in making everything look good. An invitation card may look a minor affair but some people spend weeks in choosing one.

“It took me almost a month to survey the wedding card in Valley and when I did not find anything interesting, I went to Delhi (to look for a better invitation card)”, says Muneer Alam who married off his daughter last month.

The invitation card he chose was a purple scroll card made of heavy material and printed in silver. It cost him Rs 50 per card.

The price of commonly available wedding invitation cards starts from Rs 4 to 30. “Now people mostly get the cards of their desire and choice in Valley, earlier they had to visit Delhi or other places outside Kashmir,” says Manzoor Ahmed Mir, who sells invitation cards at his shop in Khayam, Srinagar. “the variety of wedding cards has increased five folds as compared to the early years”.

Most of the invitation cards are written in English and Urdu, while some people prefer to have their cards in Kashmiri language.

The stationers and the people dealing in invitation cards procure the unprinted cards from outside mostly Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. “These days cards from Mumbai are considered as most trendy and economical,” says Manzoor.

The cards from Delhi manufacturers are large and have fancy colours, says another dealer in Srinagar, but people these days prefer simple and elegant cards.
Perfumed invitation cards are also in vogue. These cards have a pleasant smell and have a comparatively higher price. Another popular variety of cards is the “Farmaan card”, which costs around Rs 15.

Apart from increase in volume, people are also trying to get the unique wedding cards. “People today are in competition with each other, if I on my daughter’s or son’s wedding purchased a wedding card worth Rs 15, my neighbour will try to get a card of Rs 20. We are indulged in an unnecessary competition,” he adds.

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Syed Asma completed her masters in journalism from the Islamic University, Awantipore, in 2010. After working with Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Times, she joined Kashmir Life in February 2011. She covered politics, society, gender issues and the environment. In 2016, she left journalism to pursue her M Phil from the University of Kashmir. She is presently pursuing PhD.

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