There is nothing that we place above
The happiness of the ones we love.
Once upon a time (1959), there lived a young man. He decided to go to the U.S. from Bombay and pursue his dream of picking up a master's degree from an Ivy League institution: The University of Pennsylvania. Just about the same time, another young man from Madras had decided to do the same after spending two years in Bangalore. They ended up as neighbours in the U.S.
The young man from Bombay went to the U.S. and started missing home food. All the Indians (the handful of them that was there) would spend time together and were like family. But this young man still missed home. Still missed home food. And being the first son after 7 daughters and just before the 8th meant that he didn't get a chance to learn any cooking. So, he decided to invite one of his sisters to the U.S. But it is not like the family was rolling in money. The young man lost his father soon after his two younger siblings came into the world. So his mother had single handedly raised all ten children and educated them. That meant that whoever came to the U.S. had to be employed there. Our friend was not going to be able to support anyone else. Among his 8 sisters, it was the youngest who was able to come to the US and work in the same University.
This little girl was all of 20. She was still waiting her turn to enter the kitchen when all of a sudden she had to pack her bags and fly. The last month that she spent at home was a pampered one. She reached the U.S. and her brother took her out for a pizza. The next morning they had toast for breakfast and the brother went off to the University telling her that he'd be back at 12.
Legend has it that he returned at 12 to find the house empty. No one was around. Then he heard some noise in the bedroom. He went in to find his little sister crying. She never had a chance to enter the kitchen and she has no clue how to cook anything. The young man was shocked. After all, he made her move to the U.S. possible so that she could cook for him. And she didn't know how to cook.
But she learnt. Through letters from her mother. Through friends. Through a lot of trial and error. And with time she became the best cook there ever was. And since all the Indians always hung out together all the time, the other young man from Madras also got to sample her cooking. They became friends.
About 4 years later, they got married. And this day comes 44 years after that event.My last post was about my acquired family, this one is about the one I was born into. This couple is the one I have as parents. The ones I wouldn't trade for anyone else. There is truly nothing that I would place above the happiness of the ones I love.
Amma and Appa: Wishing you the very best of everything.
P.S. The date system is messed up in my blog software and the date shows as the 31st instead of the 1st.