Hoshiarpur, India April 12, 1947
When my father met my mother, it was love at first sight. Papa was tall, slender and very handsome. The object of his affections was my mother, Vida a slender young woman, with a high forehead, wide smile and large beautiful eyes. It was 1941 and Papa was a student at Murray College at the University of Punjab. He decided to attend a Christian Movement Camp and there he met Mamaji. They began to speak about their faith and she was impressed with his strong convictions and his answers to her questions. She was a studying at Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore.
Soon the two began to correspond and a friendship began, which quickly deepened into love and a courtship that lasted five years. At that time, it was unusual for two people to fall in love, express their love for each other and marry. Parents arranged and chose their children’s future spouses and socialization with the opposite sex was forbidden. But my parents did not care about convention or rules. They promised their love to each other and planned to marry.
Papaji finished school and earned the right to ask my grandfather for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The details of the wedding are very few. They were married in Hoshiarpur, Punjab on April 12, 1947.
This is the only photograph I have from the wedding. In it Papa is wearing a traditional white sherwani—a long fitted suit coat, tight fitting white silk pants and a long scarf. He is looking seriously into the camera, but there is love and desire in his eyes. Mamaji is wearing a white sari a silk chuni over her head. She is carrying a large bouquet of flowers. Her eyes are filled with hope, innocence and adoration. They are surrounded by my family and friends, dressed in their finest. It was a beautiful day filled with love, family and a hope for a long and happy future together.