Newlyweds Nikhil Nausad and Shantana Khatun became the talk of the town at Bogra’s Dhunat upazila after opting for 101 books as a mahr – an obligation in the form of money or property paid by the groom to the bride at the time of the Islamic marriage – for her Before.
The bride Shantana wants to build a family library with these books.
They were married around 7pm on Friday night at the home of Nikhil’s maternal grandmother in the Chikashi union of the Upazila.
A nose pin, ring and 70 books worth Tk 11,000 were immediately presented on Friday.
The remaining 31 books are paid for in phases.
Nikhil’s father, Shantana’s mother and their relatives were present at the wedding ceremony.
However, neighboring villagers flocked to see the wedding after hearing the news of such an unusual wedding.
Nikhil Naushad, 33, former Socialist Front leader at Bogra Govt Azizul Haque College, is the youngest of three sons and two daughters, and he graduated from the same college with a degree in BSS.
Shantana by Sonatala upazila by Bogra used to study a class behind Nikhil’s. She is the younger of two sisters. With her Master’s degree in English, she is currently a teacher at MPO of Chelopara Dakhil Madrasha in Bogra city.
The two fell in love through writing poetry while they were students.
Recently, Nikhil and Shantana decided to get married and as a mahr for their marriage, the bride asked for 101 books worth Tk2,02,000 on the condition that the maximum price for each book would be Tk2,000.
Both families accepted her decision.
Last Thursday, Nikhil and Shantana visited various shops around town and bought 70 books, a ring and a nose pin for Tk11,000.
They decided to buy 31 more books with the remaining money.
Previously, the marriage was registered in the office of the civil judge named Abdul Hannan.
Samsul Islam, father of Nikhil Naushad, said they will soon be renting a house in the city’s Khandar area as it will be convenient for Shantana’s job.
“Her mother has eight bighas of land that she will pass on to her two daughters, which is probably also the reason they are moving to the city,” he added.
Nikhil told reporters that Shantana only wanted 101 books as a mahr and hopefully her case will inspire others to dowry marriages.
Shantana Khatun said that she was impressed by Naushad’s poetry and thought it would be best to ask for books after deciding to get married.
For them the weight and honor of books is more than money and the rest of the books are later bought by themselves. They plan to build a family library at home with these books.
Kazi Helalur Rahman of the Chikashi Association of Dhunat Upazila said that the couple was first brought to him for the wedding but he did not register the wedding as in his presence there was no book as a mahr, only the ring and the nose ring.
Kazi Abdul Hannan from Gosaibari Union said that he registered the marriage by mentioning 101 books at the price of Tk2,02,000 for the mahr due to the availability of the registry book.
He added that in his almost 40 years of experience there has never been a case of giving away books as mahr. Then he asked everyone for prayers for the newlyweds.