1967 - and here is the last post of nine posts (starting September 2nd): another memorable event was a cocktail party and supper held on our last evening in Bombay at the home of our host and hostess in Malabar Hill.
(For those of you who haven’t read the previous posts, our host was the former Mayor of Bombay, and had adopted us after we’d arrived in Bombay on the train with only the clothes on our back.)
At the “cocktail” party (where no alcohol was served) other than the delicious exotic juices, a first for us was Rose Petal Water. Dinner was a tasty tandoori and specialty curry dishes. “Now you know a little bit about the ‘other India’”, said our host. “Yes”, I replied, “we’re much obliged and thankful for your generosity and hospitality. Good-bye, and may you live long and in good health.” “It was our pleasure to have the opportunity to give you both the experience.”
Next morning, his chauffer Sharma took us to the airport for our flight back home. All things, pleasant or unpleasant, come to an end. “The only permanence is impermance.”
Postscript: In my boyhood during WWII, I’d seen the bombs drop and experienced real hunger and privation. After going through all that, I thought nothing would ever move and shock me again. That is, until twenty-two years later, when we experienced India.
For those of you who haven’t yet been to India, it would be some experience to witness the “raw and real” of that paradoxical and enigmatic continent. Not always recommended, though, for the faint-hearted. Of course these posts speak about our experiences forty-one years ago. Since 1967, I’ve been back a few times, under different circumstances. No matter how you experience India, it will leave you with lasting impressions.
In our case, after witnessing the roller-coaster before we reached Bombay (see previous posts), we were offered a ride in the golden coach, and hopped on. And now, we have a choice: when the Golden Coach stops again, offering us a ride, we can either accept it, or say, “Thank you, we’ve done that already.”