In the sixth grade, I was pretty dorky. I would wear the pant portion of a salwar kameez (probably would go over much better these days), and a Washington D.C. panda tshirt with my black nike high tops. I was new in the neighborhood, my parents had just divorced and we finally moved out to Upland, where my family has lived ever since. I never brushed my hair, always wore a dirty pink headband, and never really changed my shirt. My mother was very excited to learn that two doors down on our culdesac was another Indian family, and they had a daughter a year or two older than me. That was Mayura. I remember her gangly arms, her frizzy hair, and her friendly smile. I don’t remember much else other than that her smile always made you feel like you were her friend. Her warmth and her kindness are genuine. Her laugh is hearty and loud. She was, and is, magnetic.
I only just met Ananda on their wedding day, and not only did he completely change the way I see my Bengali family after one conversation (he’s Bengali, too!), but his quick smile and kind spirit compliments Mayura in a way that is beautifully harmonic. Their love is sweet, their passion clear.
It also was a reunion of sorts – I got to catch up with some old friends! Grateful to have been a part of this beautiful day.
Oddly, as an Upland High School Alumni, my formative years were filled with a lot of scottish stuff. Our symbol was the Highlander, and there was a mural of a man who looked like he was on steroids with a kilt waving about his muscular legs, painted on the gym floor. Our mascot was the Scottie Dog, and we had a bagpipe band. And about half (or more) of that bagpipe band was made of up Asian people. Including Mayura, and some of her bridesmaids. So as a surprise they had THE current Upland High School Bagpipe Band make an appearance! They took this gig verrrrrry seriously. And it was amazing.
And so was her reaction.