One may have heard of big fat Indian weddings displaying the wealth more than anything else. But a small village in Uttar Pradesh's parched Bundelkhand region was recently witness to a wedding with a difference.
The wedding that was solemnised on Tuesday, a day after the World Environment Day, in UP's Banda district, about 200 kilometres from here, was dedicated completely to the nature with the families of both the bride and groom as well as the guests not only pledging to save the nature but also exchanging 'natural' gifts.
Billed as the 'Green Marriage' by the nature lovers and environmentalists, the gifts that were given to the groom on this occasion included saplings of trees. The newly wedded couple also planted saplings before embarking on their 'marital journey'.
According to the reports, the marriage of Maiki Devi, a resident of Gangapurwa village had been fixed with Ganesh Kumar, also a resident of the same district.
The bride's father Teja Nishad, a poor BPL card holder, requested the groom's family to solemnise the marriage in such a way that it conveyed a message for the environment. ''After all we can ensure a better life for the next generation only when the environment is protected,'' Teja said.
The groom's father readily agreed to the novel proposal.
And on Tuesday Ganesh arrived at the bride's home not in a car or riding a mare but on a bullock cart. The cart as well as the bulls had been decorated with flowers and colourful cloths. The wedding guests also came on bullock carts.
There was no lighting at the bride's house, which was decorated with leaves. The food was also served on 'pattal' (eating plate made from dried leaves of banyan or sal tree).
Before the 'vidai' (the departure of bride with groom), the couple planted saplings and along with the wedding guests and the residents of the village took pledge to protect the environment.
Teja gifted two saplings to the groom and asked his daughter to plant trees in her new village and also encourage the villagers to do the same.
''Such weddings convey the message that we Indians have traditionally respected the nature...its a message for those, who spend millions on marriages,'' says Prof. Dinesh Kumar, a botanist and former faculty at Lucknow University.