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Plant a tree to mark a new life- together

3/07/2022 at 9:55 AM

This probably is one of the best ways to celebrate the beginning of a new life together- practically and symbolically. My student turned colleague Padmalochan and his newlywed wife Tanayabala planted a Krishnachura(Delonixregia)sapling on the day of their reception. Noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of orange-red flowers over summer and monsoon it symbolizes love. They also vowed to plant a sapling on this day every year as long as they are together.

If only more men and women do this, there could be more trees around. If only this could an essential ritual of the marriage ceremony!


The word ‘ritual’ is derived from the Latin word ‘ritualis’, associated with the word ‘rite’ which comes from ‘ritus’, typically understood to mean a type of ceremony or custom. It is also believed that the original concept of ‘ritus’ could be associated with the Vedas.

Almost all forms of human activity from birth to death have some kind of rituals, which in most cases have some symbolic meanings. The oldest known acts of human ritual date back 70,000 years to a cave in the Tsodilo Hills, Botswana, known locally as the “Mountains of the Gods”.

Marriage ceremonies across the world, in a different culture, share some common rituals. These include symbolic rites, often sanctified by a religious order, which are thought to confer good fortune on the couple. Because economic considerations play an essential role in the success of child-rearing, the offering of gifts, both real and symbolic, to the married couple are a significant part of the marriage ritual.

Fertility rites intended to ensure a fruitful marriage exist in some form in marriage ceremonies. Some of the oldest rituals still to be found in contemporary ceremonies include the prominent display of fruits or of cereal grains that may be sprinkled over the couple or on their nuptial bed, the accompaniment of a small child with the bride, and the breaking of an object or food to ensure a successful consummation of the marriage and easy childbirth.

The most universal ritual is one that symbolizes a sacred union. This may be expressed by the joining of hands, an exchange of rings or chains, or the tying of garments.

Though the elements in marriage rituals vary greatly among different societies, and components such as time, place, and the social importance of the event are fixed by tradition and habit- the commonalities are striking.

Now, it seems it is time to introduce another ritual into the marriage ceremony – planting of saplings. It covers all the four important aspects of marriage symbolically. And it is also the need of the time physically.

Kiss Day

For some reason, I do not know (nor could I find) July 6 is observed as Kiss Day. Kissing, some anthropologists say, evolved from activities like suckling and mouth to mouth feeding. It is still unknown how and when it became associated with love and passion. The earliest references to kissing can be traced back to the era of Alexander around 326 BC. Some researchers suggest kissing came from India as four major texts in the Vedic Sanskrit literature has references to this act. Some researchers however believe that kissing was made popular by the Romans, who were mighty passionate about it.

The study of kissing started in the 19th century. The scientific study of kissing is called “philematology” (philos in ancient Greek refers to earthly love). If you are interested to know some facts about kissing, let me tell you that it can involve a variety of different facial muscles, with the orbicularis oris being the main skeletal muscle involved. Simple kisses use as few as 2 muscles and burn only 2 to 3 calories, whereas passionate kissing can involve as many as 23 to 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. The act of kissing consumes between 5 and 26 calories per minute. It is even reported that the exercise involved in kissing helps prevent facial wrinkles!!

Now you decide, what you should do.

Kolkata Diary1: Morning Walk Musings

Kolkata roads defy any definition. It could be from fascinating to disgusting depending on where you are physically and metaphorically. Look at the picture of Gods with emojis of hearts on the pavement tea stall. The boy making and selling tea proudly says, I have made it all of my own.

Kolkata Diary 2: Trees on the pavement.

Trees on the pavements of most of the cities do not seem to be in good health. In fact most of them are dying, reason being- we are not allowing breathing and growing space to the tree.

As the tree tries to survive and grow, the footpath is damaged.

It is time our civic bodies wake up to this and plan accordingly.

Photo location: Near Minto Park, Kolkata

About the Author:

Journalist turned media academician Mrinal Chatterjee lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He also writes fiction and plays.

[email protected]


This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with those of prameyanews.com

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