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Last Updated : Jul 16, 2019 01:56 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Falling short of Baraatis at your wedding? You can hire some as you please

Now you can stop worrying about that distant relative who is acting all pricey right before your big day.

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom
Indian wedding
Indian wedding

Ira Puranik

Imagine you’re at a wedding, and while you’re having a great time, you bump into someone who is also dancing the night away. Now, you don’t seem to recognise that person from either the bride or the groom’s side.

And while you wonder who this person could be, chances are, they may have been ‘hired’ to enjoy the wedding.

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Yes, there are Baraatiis on hire! And you can hire one too, provided if you want one.

Remember Sushant Singh Rajput in Shuddh Desi Romance? He doubled up as a rental Baraati for some extra cash. While that may have sounded fascinating, Vinod, a wedding planner based in Noida, mentions that this is nothing new.

“We have done this many times for our clients. Sometimes, it happens that the groom’s relatives are unable to join the wedding, or the groom’s family simply wants a grand Baraat. We cater to their needs.”

While he charges Rs 2,000 per person, he also says that charges vary, depending upon whether the rented Baraati is a man or a woman.

Usually, these prices include facilities such as conveyance to and from destination among other things. According to him, women charge more to pose as rental Baraatis, since they need late-night drop-offs after the dispersion of the Baraat.

If you’re surprised at the idea of renting people to add life to your wedding or have never heard of it, you’re not the only one.

“Every wedding season, we get at least 5-7 demands for such rental Baraatis. We find this business to be even more profitable than catering and decoration business. Once we were asked for around 250 rental Baraatis, for which we charged around Rs 4.5 lakh,’’ says Vinod.

These Baraatis will sing, dance and act as your relatives at your wedding according to your ‘customisation’.

Ambala-based Lovely wedding planning and catering service has been in the business of rental Baraatis for a long time. At their firm, you can hire an entire family of Chacha-Chachi and two young cousins for Rs 21,000. And if you want the entire family package, complete with an elderly couple, you will have to dish out Rs 31,000.

Yet again, the charges vary, depending upon the function these Baraatis are expected to perform at the wedding.

“For young guys who will dance along with the Baraat, the charge per person is Rs 5,000. For normal Baraatis, who will simply walk along, the charges are somewhere between Rs 3,000-Rs 3,500.”

But what if they get caught?

What if someone discovers that they are not really relatives, just posing to be so?

That rarely happens, according to Arvind Vishwakarma, who runs a rental Baraati business in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, along with a dance troupe, Hot and Spice dance group.

He adds, “Usually, the groom’s family introduces these people, if need be. Post their introduction, nobody bothers to ask again.”

But while this concept might come across as ‘weird’ to some people, there is no denying the fact that renting-a-Baraati is something that has caught on for some time now.

The idea of running a rental Baraati business first struck Vishwakarma when a family from Mumbai, who had come to Nagpur, asked them if they could lend them some people to add to the Baraat, since many of their relatives were unable to join. 

Six years later, he states that there remains a regular demand for such rented revellers around the wedding season. 

According to him, during the wedding season, which lasts between October-December, he manages to earn somewhere around Rs 10,000 every month as a supplemental income. 

But how is life out there dancing away as a Baraati-on-rent? We got in touch with one such person.

“They are smart people. It can get hard for you to identify them. You might even end up believing that they are your own kin,” says someone who currently works part-time as a rental Baraati while requesting anonymity. They say that most of these people are well-educated professionals.

Foolproof Baraati

The source also said that there are briefing sessions held for them before they join the Baraat. This usually includes details about the groom’s hometown, relatives and other information about the couple.

In-depth information is also asked in order to get the language and diction of the groom’s region right. 

“You won’t want to get caught speaking Gujarati at a Punjabi wedding. So we do such preparations beforehand,” they add.

However, with the inclination of the younger generation shifting towards minimalism and simplicity on their big day, the business of rental Baraatis could lose steam in times to come.

“At a time when people are moving towards minimalist, intimate and offbeat weddings, why would anyone want to spend money to hire strangers and make them a part of their biggest day?" says Kamakshi Kothiwal, founder of the Wedding Planning Company, a Delhi-based wedding planning agency.

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First Published on Jul 16, 2019 12:29 pm
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