My parents will be married for 30 years come June. To this day, I never get tired of hearing the way they met.
Both of them immigrated to the U.S. from India, although 15 years apart. My mom came over when she was only five years old when her father was offered an opportunity to practice medicine at Johns Hopkins. My dad's story is a bit more traditional. He immigrated in his 20s to complete his medical residency in New York and lived in an all-too crowded bachelor pad with some of his closest friends from Madras.
In her early 20s, my mom was teaching art at a local Baltimore school and became close with the Jewish family of one of her students. They made it a goal to find her "a good Indian boy" -- not an easy task in 1970s Baltimore. They began setting her up with any Indian man they could find, but none were the right fit.
One day, the student's grandmother, who was particularly fond of my mom, broke her hip in an unfortunate car accident and landed in an emergency room of a Baltimore hospital. Guess who happened to be the resident on call? Yep...my strapping father, with his comforting demeanor and styling handle-bar mustache. So of course she fell in love with the thought of my mom and dad meeting each other and living happily ever after. She gave him my Mom's number (though only
after making sure he was an eligible bachelor).
My parents went on their first date, immediately fell in love and were engaged three months later. It was only after my parents went on a few dates that they discovered their families were friends and lived a few streets away from each other in Madras. Flash forward 30 years, they have two daughters, a chocolate lab, and a loving marriage.
I can't wait for my unborn children and grandchildren to hear that story -- and to hear it from the mouths of my parents, or at least from me. But if that isn't possible, for whatever reason, I feel comforted that they can come to Kahani to hear stories like these. Never again will there be a first major wave of Indians that immigrate to the United States. This June, my parents celebrate their 30th anniversary. I'm flying back to Baltimore for the occasion, and before leaving, I'm asking for more stories.