Royal transport: The reemergence of buggy culture

Published: August 22, 2016
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Embellished with flowers and various ornaments, the buggy has garnered a growing appeal, particularly at wedding ceremonies in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. PHOTO: ZAFAR ASLAM/EXPRESS

Embellished with flowers and various ornaments, the buggy has garnered a growing appeal, particularly at wedding ceremonies in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. PHOTO: ZAFAR ASLAM/EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI: The sight of a horse-drawn carriage, commonly referred to as a buggy — embellished with lights and other glitzy adornments as a ‘royal’ ride for a bride and groom — has begun to trend again in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

It is often said that fashion cyclically reappears after several years, and the reemergence of this mode of transport at wedding ceremonies satisfies this position.

The trend is on the rise for two reasons — first, the arrangement of a buggy is attractive, more so than a decorated luxury car, and secondly, owing to the fact that it is much more accessible for middle income groups.

These buggies are regularly found, during the wedding season, at the Benazir Bhutto Road near Committee Chowk and at Lehtrar Road near Alipur.

Azhar Mehmood, a buggy operator at Committee Chowk, said that the decoration of carriages is made according to the aesthetic sense of the customer.

He added that while some customers prefer decorating carriages with fresh flowers, many prefer artificial items.

Mehmood said that grooms and their relatives usually go to the wedding venue on carriages while performing traditional dances to the beat of drums.

The vendor said that people want their children, relatives, and friends’ weddings to be exceptional as it is a singular experience in their lives which is why they turn to traditionally decorated carriages.

Citizens have also gravitated towards buggy culture, as it is associated with the lords and maharajas of days long past.

Mehmood added that the youth is keener to hire horse-drawn carriages.

He recalled the time when carriages were only hired by people who could not afford an expensive car.

Notwithstanding, gradually it has developed into a fast growing culture, where everyone is fascinated.

A marriage hall owner at 6th Road said that this centuries-old fashion is fast becoming a popular trend at weddings.

Muhammad Fazal, another owner of a horse carriage, told The Express Tribune that the decoration of a carriage depends on customers’ choice and his affordability.

He said the charges for a single function range between Rs10,000 and Rs12,000.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd,  2016.

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