… and we weren’t there. I know, that sounds weird. It sounds weird to me. Katie was married in India.
There will be a Canadian wedding in August and we are looking forward to being at that one.
It was a difficult decision to make but one that wouldn’t have surprised anyone. Many years ago Michelle and I decided to stop flying. Putting carbon into the air is bad for the atmosphere, putting it into the air at 30,000 feet is even worse. Neither Michelle nor I had flown much in the past and we’d always felt that air travel just couldn’t be a good thing. Once our suspicions were confirmed we decided that keeping our feet on the ground was just one more way, albeit a big one, to lessen our carbon footprint.
Then our daughter Katie met a wonderful young man named Dhruva at university and one thing led to another and the next thing we knew they were engaged! Right from the start they talked about having a wedding in India, where many of Dhruva’s extended family members live. Dhruva is an exceptional young man and we are extremely pleased to add a son to our family. He is very traditional and asked our permission to propose. He actually did it several years ago when they were in India for his cousins’ wedding. In fact he proposed right in front of the Taj Mahal. Come on “The Bachelor,” try to beat that for romance!
Indian weddings are a big deal and involve many different events that take place over a number of days. One celebration is called the “Sangeet,” where everyone involved with the wedding performs… either dances, or sings or performs in some way. Dhruva had asked us to contribute and so we made a little video to introduce ourselves to Dhruva’s Indian friends and family. We explained why we weren’t there and gave a little tour of Sunflower Farm. It was great because we did it just after a big snow and Jasper the Wonder Dog was bounding through a foot and a half of snow.
We also made an “Outtakes” video because we made lots of mistakes. It was Michelle’s fault. We sat on the couch in the living room for the first part and Michelle said “Hi, I’m Cam Mather…” and that sort of set us off and for the next 15 minutes we couldn’t stop laughing. Later when we were filming the section where we thanked Dhruva’s family for all of their hard work organizing the Indian wedding, our cats, who usually want nothing to do with me, jumped up on the couch and made it hard to concentrate again. Oh and then Michelle had a hissy fit when I told her she didn’t look comfortable. All in all it was pretty darn funny.
Unfortunately (or as Michelle said, “Luckily,”) they decided not to play the outtakes at the wedding. Perhaps Katie didn’t want her new Indian friends and family members to think she had crazy parents!
Our eldest daughter did go to the wedding so we were glad to have someone to represent us there.
I am very comfortable with my decision not to fly, although it is hard to miss important events like this. In his book “Heat,” George Monbiot says, “When you fly, you destroy other people’s lives.” When I see the President of the Maldives Islands at international climate change negotiations talking about how his nation is going to be lost, and soon, I feel better about not flying. Ali and his staff at Curry Original, our favorite restaurant in Kingston, are all from Bangladesh. Much of it is very low lying and the people there will suffer greatly from rising sea levels. I would never want to adversely affect the families of these folks who make such amazing food. I avoid effecting climatic conditions that may flood their families back home.
Call me a zealot, but I believe this is something in my control. I love my daughters and would have loved to attend Katie’s Indian wedding, but I am very much looking forward to her Canadian wedding. I cannot control this crazy little thing called love but I can control my actions. I have flown on planes before; I have done my damage, now I will stay put.
Katie and Dhruva streamed the wedding live on the internet so we got to watch it online. Can you imagine? Watching an event live from the other side of the world! Sometimes there’s something to all this technology. It was quite an event. So much color compared to North American weddings. So many traditions and rituals. So much rice and turmeric. (The photos are from screen shots we took during the event.)
It was quite surreal actually when Katie walked in all done up in a beautiful sari with lots of henna all over her hands and arms from the Mehndi. Our lovely daughter Nicole was sitting right behind her, and she looked amazing too. Both our daughters, on the other side of the planet, in the warmth of India, at 4 o’clock in the morning (5 pm here) and Katie was getting married. Unreal!
And now our daughter is married and we have a son-in-law. Man do I feel old!