An amount of property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage.
In a world that’s still dealing with the issues of dowry, in a world where innocent lives are still being taken due to the pressure of dahej, this story of a wedding in West Bengal set an inspiring example.
The groom, Suryankanta Barik, is an English teacher at a private school in Sonarpur. The 30-year-old had told his in-laws prior to the wedding that he and his family won’t accept any kind of dowry. But when he arrived at the venue to tie the knot with his betrothed, Priyanka Bej, he was surprised by the unusual gift her family had planned for him.
The bride’s family gifted their son-in-law, who loves to read, around a thousand books which cost nearly Rs 1 lakh! They were impressed by his gesture and progressiveness, and this gift only added more value to that kind of thinking. “I had made it clear that I would not accept any dowry. When I arrived for the wedding, I was pleasantly surprised to find a huge pile of books as a gift,” the groom told The Telegraph.
In fact, Priyanka, a 21-year-old final year student of music at Mugberia College, herself loves to read books and expressed how happy she felt to marry a man like Suryankanta who understands everything that is wrong with the concept of dowry. She said, “My family knew that I don’t like the concept of marriages that involve giving or taking dowry. So I am very grateful to have a husband who understands that. My father also knew that I love to read. That’s why he gave us this gift.”
The gift included complete works of Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. The collection, which was shipped 150km away to East Midnapore (Suryankanta’s village) in a truck, also included a few Harry Potter books. Priyanka’s family members including her father Asit Bej (a music teacher) and uncle Mahadeb Manna (a high school teacher) travelled across Calcutta to buy the books from College Street shops, the Udbodhan Karyalaya as well as the publishing house of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. “I had requested relatives and friends not to bring any gifts. If they wished, I told them, they could bring flowers or books,” said Nahadeb, uncle of the bride.
Suyankanta’s plans with all these books are just as noble as him. He said, “I want to build a small library at my home that will be accessible to my neighbours too.”
More power to the couple and their families!
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