November 19, 1961 – India

Airlines Hotel, Bombay, India – Clear, hot

     Last night hadn’t been a good one for me.  For the second day in a row I had to tell Edith to go on the tour without me.  I was sorry I would miss seeing Bombay but I was so tired from my night of vomiting and I had cramps. 

      When I finally got up at 8:30am I called the front desk several times to check for messages but each time I did they told me there weren’t any.  Since I hadn’t heard from Medhu I decided to use my time this morning to write Bob a letter to let him know I hadn’t been able to see Medhu like he had wanted me to.  I knew he would be disappointed about it: 

Nov 19, 1961 – Bombay, India

Dear Bob; 

     Colombo was better than we expected.  We arrived here last night at 10:30pm.  No note or anything from Medhu.  I got sick during the night, cramps so did not go on tour this morning but stayed in hotel. 

     No word from Medhu still this morning so maybe he was busy. 

     We are leaving here in one hour for Karachi.  I’m not sorry we are getting out of India.  Oh yes I feel better now.

Love Mother

     I had told Bob I felt better even though really didn’t but I didn’t want him to worry about me.  I sealed up my letter to Bob since Edith still seemed to be trying to read my letters.  Then I finished getting ready to leave.  At 10:30am the phone rang and when I picked it up I was pleased to hear Medhus voice.  He wanted to know if he could still come and visit with me.  Medhu told me about he had called several times and left messages yesterday and earlier this morning but had been disappointed not to hear back from me.  I was glad he had been persistent and didn’t give up.  I put aside my disappointment that Medhu’s messages hadn’t been passed along to me and we made arrangements to meet in the hotel lobby as soon as he could get there. 

     I quickly finished packing my suitcase and took it down to the lobby where I told Medhu I would wait for him.  Once he arrived we sat and visited there in the lobby till the tour group returned to get their bags, check out and head to the airport.  I made arrangements with Curt to meet the rest of the group at the airport so that I could spend some more time with Medhu while he drove me there.  As we left Curt cautioned us to make sure we weren’t late. 

      Medhu took me on a long roundabout drive to the airport so he could show me a few places.  In driving around l I saw on one hill several vultures perched on a cross bar of an archway looking like they were waiting for their next meal.  Medhu explained that Indians of the parse faith, called Zoastriastrianism, do not bury their dead.   Instead the families of the dead person bring their bodies to special places so that the vultures can eat the flesh.  When I asked Medhu what happens to the bones he said they are just left there till they disintegrate from the rays of the sun.

      Next Medhu took me to see the Gate of India and while we there I took a picture of Medhu to give to Bob once I got home.  Medhu and Bob had both attended University of Southern California together and become great friends so I knew he would welcome the picture.  My time with Bob’s friend had been very special because he had given me a perspective about India in talking that I hadn’t heard before. 

Gate of India

Medhu in Bombay

      Once we reached the airport it turned out we had plenty of time to still sit and talk some more.  Medhu sat with me while we waited for our boarding time and was very attentive.  He made sure I felt better, got me water and made sure I had what I needed before he had to leave me.  I felt sad to say good bye to such a nice young man after such a short time.

      We left Bombay at 12:20pm to fly to Karachi, Pakistan.  On our flight Edith told me what they had seen on their tour that morning.  It sounded like it had been interesting but Medhu had showed me some of the same places during our drive to the airport.  We arrived in Karachi at 3:30pm after a pleasant flight and from the sky the scenery looked interesting.   I was pleasantly surprised at how fast we were able to get our luggage and make it to our hotel because it only took us an hour.  I was glad that it hadn’t taken forever like it did when we flew to Bombay because we were to go on a short tour of the city to see the national museum and the pleasure beach, Jehangir Kothari. 

      After we checked into the Beach Luxury Hotel, I was still feeling nauseous and didn’t think bouncing around on the bus would help me to feel better but I went anyway.  I’d not been able to eat what was served on the flight and didn’t think I would be able to eat dinner unless I had a chance to rest so I hoped I had time to rest after our tour.  I wasn’t certain if it was what I’d had eaten or if it was the flu or if the tour was getting the best of me.

      Karachi it turned out is a large port city with many new buildings including apartments.  Curt told Edith and I that on the beach there was a Pigeon Temple which was a large square concrete edifice of eight stories that housed hundreds of pigeons.  I enjoyed seeing it and was glad I’d come on the tour despite my nausea. 

     Our final stop was the American embassy which had just been built and completed last March.  The architect was the world famous Richard Neutra.

      Come dinner I went even though I was still a little queasy.  It was Morris’s birthday and our tour group was going to give him a cake and celebrate like they had done for Edith so I didn’t want to miss it.  Morris, also a member of our tour was traveling with his wife.  I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by missing the party because he had contributed a lot to making Edith’s birthday so nice. 

     I was sorry that I wasn’t feeling better because the dinner and birthday cake all looked good.  I would have loved to eat regular food but I restricted myself to eating some crackers and drinking tea.  The waitress assured me the tea would help my stomach settle down.

      After dinner Edith and I returned to our room to do a little more laundry and take a bath.  I felt like I really needed a bath after being so sick last night.  Since we were leaving Karachi in the morning to travel to Iran I felt like I had to put everything I could away tonight to eliminate doing very much in the morning.  It felt good to lie down and go to sleep.  Just as I was dozing off I realized that I really had started to feel much better after I’d drunk the tea and I wondered what kind it was again so I could get some in case I ever needed it again.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick S Poplin
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 02:31:14

    I didn’t remember that his name was Medhu, but I did know that Dad had a friend in Bombay. I feel sad that he and Dad fell out of communication (much like me and my Canadian friend Pierre Lemire), and I would have liked to have met him.


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