In Raina’s ‘Sasural’, Panchayat asks all to watch

MEERUT: Bamonoli village in Baghpat is where Suresh Raina is expected to come on April 3, soon after the cricket world cup ends, to marry local girl Priyanka Chaudhary.

No wonder the village has started taking all matches in which Raina figures with exceptional seriousness. For the India-Australia semi-finals, the gram panchayat has gone a step ahead and issued a strange order — no one will go to work on Thursday and no farming will be done. All its 12,000-odd residents will have to watch the match, many of them on a large screen that is being frenetically put up for the big occasion.

Not that anyone is complaining, at least not openly. This is after all the place where Priyanka’s father Tej Pal Singh has his ancestral home. In fact, her grand parents still live there, with Singh choosing to stay in Meerut while making frequent trips to Bamonoli.

One of the members of the village panchayat, Prahlad Singh said told TOI on Wednesday, “It is a matter of great honour for the village that its daughter is getting married to a cricket star of India. And to make this event memorable we have installed a screen and arranged for more than 2,000 people to sit in front of it and watch the match. The rest can sit on the ground and enjoy the game. It will be a public holiday for villagers and all have been asked to watch the match. Let everyone see our son-in-law in action.”

Another villager, Hemant Singh, said “There is a sudden surge of interest in cricket in Bamonoli. Even those who never heard about this game are keen to follow the sport now. Youngsters who are highly enthusiastic about the whole event are making it a point to bring people even from the remotest corners of the village to see the would-be son-in-law of the village in action.”

According to some reports, Priyanka has recently come back for the marriage from the Netherlands, where she is currently employed with a bank.

Not surprisingly, with so much attention around the region on the marriage, the family has maintained a stoic silence. Priyanka’s mother Sushila Devi, along with Priyanka, reached Tikri, just a few kms from Bamonoli for the ‘bhaat’ ceremony. Even there they refused to speak to the media. Only Priyanka’s maternal grandfather Subhash Tomar confirmed that the ritual had indeed taken place on Wednesday.

He said, “Yes, we have the marriage of my grand-daughter. It is a very private ceremony and we are not including media in it.” But Bamonoli is, and they have already begun the celebrations.

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