Violet and I met many years ago at a college campus. Unusually, it was our advisor who introduced us. We took strolls by the parks and ate lunches by the lake, and along the way learnt about us, our countries, and our different cultures. Her Midwest mom and my South Indian dad couldn’t be more different, yet they were equally excited when we announced our engagement. If her mom and sisters were apprehensive that I might take Violet to a faraway land and disappear, they didn’t show it. If my dad and brothers were worried what this strange American girl would do to our lives, they didn’t mention it. My dad consulted an Indian astrological calendar to find a wedding date and ruled out every single weekend for a year as inauspicious! He found one Thursday in November to be perfect and that was Thanksgiving. The town’s Mayor married us at Violet’s mom’s house in front of an international assembly of twenty eight, including six children. The ceremony lasted all of five minutes.
Violet and I have a few things in common. Both of us love logic, though love has no logic. We love nature in its many ways. Creatures, big and small. Plants, tall and short. Friends and relatives, especially nephews and nieces. Most of all, we love our dear son.
We have our many differences. One of us likes to be there fifteen minutes before an appointment, while the other likes to get there only five minutes earlier. One of us likes to sing, and when they sing, the other likes nothing less. One of us plays the piano, and when they play, the other likes nothing more. One is a runner and the other a bicyclist. One wings it and the other plans it. One has an engineering degree without the skills, and the other is a scientist with engineering skills. One likes potatoes and the other likes idlies. One enjoys 20-piece puzzles and the other 2000-piece ones. One is pragmatic and the other is unrealistic. One is in touch with as many relatives as there are countries and the other with as many as there are continents. One meditates and the other mediates. One is spiritual. The other likes spirits.
Often, we hear the wisdom of couples discussing differences in faith, family, finances, and all things of importance before getting married. We didn’t have such discussions. Apparently mutual love and respect are good enough. I can count all the ways I love Violet. I cannot really!
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in this Native American Heritage Month, we wish for the uplifting of the lives of the indigenous whose land we inhabit.