(This quartet series (Part IV) is all about my friends whom I had the pleasure of meeting during my trip to US in the year 2008)
Mehroo and her daughter Shirin waited for me at a restaurant in St.Peter from where we drove an hour or more to the Minneapolis suburb ofGolden Valleywhere Mehroo lives.
Mehroo, a Parsee fromHyderabad came toSwitzerlandin 1956 to do research and study under a well-known Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, in Basel. Her first trip away from home, she was entrusted to our care by her uncle, a friend of my father-in-law. A nervous twenty-year old with permed hair (which she considered fashionable for Europe!) she arrived at Zurich airport. She visited us on weekends and accompanied us on trips by car to many of the beautiful mountain valleys, and on a long car trip to France and Spain. There are many photos in our album of our happy picnics and hilarious stories of our encounters with people with whom we conversed in our phrase-book French and Spanish.
These and many memories brightened our conversation fifty years later, in her kitchen, as we ate an Indian dinner she had cooked, with her daughter Shirin, American son-in-law Brendan, and twelve year old granddaughter Sophie..
Still diminutive, her hair is now straight and white, restored after chemo-baldness, which made her look older than one would expect. We talked about the intensive security at US airports and her having to decline the metal detector because she had a pace-maker. She helped me buy prosthesis because like me, she too had had a mastectomy. Now feeling well with a remission from lymphoma after chemo-therapy, she took me shopping in the Mall, and we wandered around the beautiful trees and flowers at the Arboretum.
The last evening before I left for home, we had a picnic dinner that Shirin had brought, in theMinnehahaWaterfallsPark. There we listened to the Minneapolis Sinfonia Orchestra play classical and popular songs to an audience of young and old seated on park benches, parents and small children, joggers and cyclists, stopped to listen to the strains of John Lennon, Chopin and Haydn in the evening hours.
Twilight is the most beautiful part of the day –Go-dhuli – as the cows come home and to the tired and foot weary there is a promise of rest until the dawn of another day.
This thought, and the strains of the Sinfonia music sang in my mind as I flew fourteen hours into the rising sun, and then into the life giving monsoon clouds of India.