Months leading up to my wedding, people would ask me questions like “when did you know you were ready to get married?” “how did you know she was the one?” “how did you propose?” etc.
I usually tell them that a few years back I was lying in bed, it was late at night, I went to turn off the lamp, glanced at the clock that read 9:00 PM and automatically knew it was time to get married.
But all jokes aside, there have been many moments in the past few years that have led me to marry her. I can vividly remember one of those moments now.
It was march of 2012. Tensions were high in Punjab with Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana’s hanging set for march 31, 2012. Sikhs took to the streets and protested the execution. Punjab Police took advantage of this open opportunity to beat, arrest, humiliate and even kill whoever fit the profile they created in the 80s and 90s. Radical Hindu organizations such as the RSS and Shiv Shena also saw this as a prime opportunity to do the same. It wasn’t as if the police was going to stop them, if anything they’d probably lend a hand. Real time updates were coming in from all social media sites and for the first time in my life, I got a glimpse of what our parents and grandparents went through almost 30 years ago. And then, all of a sudden, everything stopped. Twitter went blank, Youtube went blank, Facebook went blank, the little news coverage that was coming from Punjab was also gone. It was a total media blackout, the kind of thing we read about in books about the the attack on the Akal Takht in 1984. It was scary.
No words can describe what a Sikh feels watching all of this from the comfort of his North American home. Anger, frustration, sadness, fear for the unarmed Sikhs that bravely took to the streets, and just an overall emotional nightmare.
That week, I remember calling some of my close friends, some Singhs that I consider to be leaders of our Panth and asking them “what can we DO?”. We need to DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING. How can we just sit around and watch this happen? Someone tell me what I can do and I will do it. Things got so frustrating that the only solution that made sense was to book a flight and go stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters. I told her this earlier that day.
And it was THAT NIGHT…that every confusing, emotional and frustrating night that I spoke to her. She shared my pain, we talked for hours about things and at the end of our conversation she said to me….”if you ever feel like you can’t take it anymore and you need to book a flight, make sure you book two”.
It was then and there, that exact moment, that I knew she was the one for me. She was the one I needed by my side, the one I wanted to raise a family with, the one who was going to be my anchor, my partner for life, my strength, my love and my Sangat.
With that being said, the both of us are SOO overwhelmed with all the LOVE, care, compassion and kindness everyone has showed us. We can’t express how grateful we are to have such amazing family, friends and sangat in our life. Everything from start to finish, in terms of the wedding, was an extremely beautiful experience. Our parents, our siblings, our family members and our friends went WAY out of their way to make sure everything went smoothly and in doing so, have given us a lifetime of memories of our special day. No gifts, thank you cards, hugs or kisses will ever suffice in expressing our gratitude. We love you all very much and we wholeheartedly thank you for being so kind and loving to us. It is because of family, friends and sangat like you that we are who we are today. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. A big thank you to everyone the came from near and far to attend the wedding, we were overwhelmed at the number of people that attended the wedding in LA and at the number of people that flew across the country! Thank you so much for blessing us with your sangat at our Anand Karaj.
Photo Credit: Amrit Khalsa