Kolkata: When 17 excited members of a marriage party from Himachal Pradesh’s Bangana set out for West Bengal to bring the bride back home, never had they thought that they won’t be returning anytime soon! Also Read - Compassion in Times of Corona: Pune Auto Driver Uses Money Saved For His Wedding to Feed Migrants

Turns out, the coronavirus lockdown ruined all their plans as they had to spend 56 days at the bride’s house before they could travel back to their hometown.

It was on March 21, that 17-member ‘baarat’ boarded the Kolkata-bound Gurmukhi Superfast Express train at the Nangal Dam railway station to reach Kolkata. When they reached Kolkata the next day i.e March 22, India was observing a ‘janata curfew’.

Anyhow, bridegroom Sunil Kumar’s marriage with Sanjogita was solemnised as per schedule on March 25, the day when the first phase of the nationwide lockdown began. The marriage party, along with the bride and groom, was set to begin its return journey on March 26 and had already booked the tickets.

However, they couldn’t travel owing to a complete lockdown, including suspension of rail services. Kumar’s in-laws made arrangements for their stay at the Kashipur dharamshala, providing every possible help.

Finally, their ordeal ended on May 14 when the ‘baarat’ boarded a bus at Malda for Himachal Pradesh after getting e-passes from the state government.

The 18 members, including bride Sanjogita Kumari Mandal, have been placed under quarantine in a hall in the hotel, just five kilometres away from their Proyian Kalan village in Bangana tehsil.

“It seems as if we are back to heaven,” Kumar told PTI from the quarantine centre.