Corona has us in it’s vicious, tight grip. The only time when I saw the world shut down is because of Corona. Even a city like Mumbai that never sleeps was forced to stall because of corona. And Covid 19 has hit the business owners the hardest, marriages have been cancelled or just been done with for the sake of it. The good old “big fat Indian weddings” remains a shibboleth that we once knew and were proud of. The book, Marriage in the time of corona by Arbind Bhatia speaks of one such marriage.

The book, without giving away the names of the bride and the groom, talks about a Punjabi wedding that was scheduled during summers of 2020. But the pandemic cast it’s vicious spell and the weddings had to be cancelled or rescheduled. These are the trials of a couple that we read in the book. The book takes us through the ups and downs to get a couple married in such testing times.

Arbind Bhatia brings alive the hustle and bustle of the Punjabi wedding, the dismay caused because of the lockdown and then the rush for a court marriage. The book has been written in an unconventional style. It’s more matter-of-fact and less fictionalization. The book conveys what it sets out to convey but it failed to keep me captive, perhaps because of the writing style. However, the language is top-notch and had all my attention.

Last word – An unorthodox storytelling that documents the pandemic and makes no bones about it, may or may not live upto your expectations of storytelling, but proves to be a must read.

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