In a world fantasised by wishes, where every bride dreams of getting the best of the wedding gifts from her groom, this woman from Bhaderwah town of Jammu and Kashmir had an unusual desire. Daisy Sheikh, a young woman in 20s who is pursuing post-graduation, rendered a precondition that her would-be groom should plant scores of tree saplings with her as a wedding present.
While the matchmakers were busy looking for Daisy’s “dream match”, it so happened that Yasir Hussain Sheikh, a 28-year-old prospective groom, who runs Bhaderwah Valley Public School and happens to be a nature lover, found the proposal interesting.
After a few deliberations, the two families agreed to this arranged marriage. As the news about the demand of an unusual gift from bride spread across the Chenab valley, Vivek Verma, a young IFS officer posted in Bhaderwah came to know about the story. He spontaneously sent a message to the prospective bridegroom that he would love to host them for such a plantation drive.
The couple tied a nuptial knot on April 23 in their hometown in Doda district some 200 kms from Jammu city. The next morning Daisy’s wedding gift was ready. Donning the wedding attire, the couple left for a nearby forestland where DFO Vivek Verma and his team of officials, including Sagar Hussain Jamwal and Naseer Mehboob who added some traditional touch to the event, were ready to host the newlywed.
As a mark of respect for them, the forest officials had already kept the pits dug up for plantation lest the couple has to unduly spend extra time there.
But for Daisy, Yasir had more surprise gifts in store for her. He had called scores of children from his school to join the plantation drive whereby dozens of saplings of conifers, mainly prized deodar were planted.
Joy knew no bounds for Daisy, who has a passion of planting trees since childhood. “Today, my long cherished dream has been realised. Mashallah, I have a loving husband who loves me and my passion alike. We both have pledged to spend every marriage anniversary of ours planting trees because this is something which adds to the beauty of homeland and blesses us with fresh oxygen to live,” says Daisy.
But then, why did she prefer green gold over some precious jewellery, something which has been a tradition in the region. “See, gold will add to personal looks and that gift is something which doesn’t last long for long nor benefits others. But if you plant a tree, it will be a blessing for you and generations to come,” her husband adds. “Moreover, as per the Islamic teachings, planting a tree is like Sadaqa-e-Zariya (charity for eternity), so by doing this one attains sawab (reward) as well.”
The concerned DFO of Bhaderwah, Vivek Verma, is so touched by the gesture of the newlywed that he looks ahead to hold special plantation drives for families and social gatherings. “There seems to be a lot of scope on this front. You can host such events in connection with birthdays or even remembrances. And the end product of such events will be that our stocks of green gold will grow healthier,” he said.
But then, have the couple spend part of their romantic honeymoon planting trees? “Yes you can say so,” replies Yasir with a smile on his face.