Some brides and grooms take a limousine to their weddings, others a horse drawn carriage and still others may even sit astride an elephant. But one couple in India, determined to make it to their special occasion in spite of deadly floods, traveled to the venue inside a giant cooking pot.
In footage shot on Monday that has since gone viral, Akash Kunjumon, 26, and his wife-to-be Aiswarya, 22, floated through murky floodwaters in the state of Kerala, where flash floods and landslides have killed at least 22 people since the weekend.
“This turned out to be a wedding I didn’t expect at all,” the bride said in a video by local news outlet Asianet.
Kunjumon requested that Aiswarya's last name not be used out of respect for her family who had objected to the wedding.
Two men and a cameraman can also be seen trudging through the flooded roads to paddle the couple to Panayannurkavu Devi Temple in Alappuzha district, where the wedding ceremony was performed.
Despite the difficulties presented by the floods, the couple wanted the wedding to go ahead, the groom’s mother Radhika Kunjumon, 44, told Reuters news agency.
“We had fixed the wedding and held it at the auspicious time despite the flooding,” she said.
Akash Kunjumon said that both he and Aiswarya work at the Covid-19 ward of a government hospital. He is a member of the cleaning staff and she is a nursing assistant.
Kunjumon admitted the scale of the flooding had surprised him.
“We didn’t know there would be so much water,” he said. “We tried to arrange for a boat but couldn’t get one.”
The ceremony took place with less than 10 guests. Video from the wedding shows the couple sitting with garlands around their neck, after which Kunjumon places a chain, known as Mangal Sutra, around his bride's neck and vermillion on her head.
Heavy rain triggered flash floods and landslides across the state of Kerala over the weekend, killing at least 22 people. Residents were rescued by the Indian Army and Navy.
Video footage from the state shows houses being uprooted and submerged in water, villages filled with mud and debris and roads flooded with muddy water.
Heavy rains also triggered flash floods and landslides in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand leaving more than 40 people dead, according to local reports.