Bharat and Rashmi
cordially invite you to celebrate
at their home
6 September, Saturday night
6 September 2014
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you all for coming to this special occasion for Vatsala and I.
In particular I would like to thank my mother-in-law Ramaben Oza, Rashmi and Bharat, Tejus and Neehil for hosting this fabulous party tonight in honour of Vatsala and myself.
Vatsala, as you know, was born in Manchester and spent her early years studying in Alderley Edge. Every chance she got throughout the years living and working abroad in Geneva she’s never missed an opportunity to be in Wilmslow with her family and friends.
I’ve had the incredibly good fortune to meet my beautiful wife Vatsala in Geneva in 1975 when some of my fellow physicists told me about a glamorous young British-Indian girl they had just met. They told me, quite rightly, that I should definitely meet her, so with great anticipation, I took them up on the offer! It was to be an introduction of a lifetime journey of love and friendship already in its 40th year. At the time she was studying, and I was a young physics student also studying, for a doctorate at Imperial College London and working at CERN in Geneva.
Vatsala went on to have a tremendous career working full-time with the United Nations in Geneva spanning 28 years where her humanitarian work would be to help displaced refugees fleeing for their lives across borders all over the world - and through it all - we had our two children Natisha and Jas and she wrote a successful fiction book called Rubies and Rickshaws. Our children are here tonight, Natisha with her fiancé Andrew and Jas with his partner Devani.
In 1976, I met Bharat and Vatsala’s parents, Ramaben and Mulshanker Oza. Bharat has been a devoted brother to Vatsala, always there to support her throughout. For me Bharat has been a model brother-in-law, supportive and reliable for 40 years. Bharat and Rashmi have been a pillar of friendship to us and we could not have this party without their kindness, love and support.
I want also to pay my respects and remember the Late Mulshanker Oza. Many of you here will remember him fondly. Without his vision and tenacity, his bravery and foresight to come to the United Kingdom in 1947 alone and penniless, speaking very little English, to a devastated London just after Indian Independence and the Second World War, our family would not be here today. London was so badly damaged after the WWII that my father-in-law decided to come to Manchester to find work. Today Mulshanker Oza would have been proud and delighted for his family.
I would also like to remember my late father, Chain Singh Virdee and my mother Udam Kaur who is here today. Both my parents also made difficult decisions and sacrifices to afford their children a good education. My family came to the UK from Kenya in 1967 when I was 15 years-old.
So to end, let me thank you all for coming tonight and in particular our many guests from Geneva, family members and guests from Birmingham, London and Brighton who made the journey - up north - just for us.
So again thank you Ramamben, Bharat and Rashmi for hosting us tonight to celebrate the past and welcome in the future.