Our stay in Delhiwas just long enough to visit with the family, and exchange clothes for something heavier before into the setting out for Himachal Pradesh. But Delhiwas at its best. There are perhaps two or three weeks at the end of March when the weather is perfect – not too cold…not too hot – and the air fresh and clear.
One evening we went to an open air classical Indian concert in Nehru Park. Gerard happened to see the free event advertised in the Sunday paper. The concert was dedicated to the famous shenai player from Varanasi, Bisimillah Khan, who transformed the shenai to the solo classical music instrument it is today. His death in 2006 at the age of 90 was marked with a national day of mourning; he played for both the Independent celebrations at the Red Fort in 1947 and again at the Golden Jubilee in 1997. During the interlude was an excellent documentary of his life and music. The featured artist was flute player Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasi who we’ve seen a number of times in Boston. Even at his advanced age, he could still produce magic out of a bamboo flute. It was very pleasant to be sitting in the park in the cool evening air, listening to one of India’s top classical musicians.
We never know when illness is going to strike and our Indian family has been hit hard this year. The grandmother passed away just days before we arrived and now the mother has been diagnosed with some strange auto immune condition that’s attacking her liver. The doctors want to put her on steroids to weaken her immune system, setting off a controversy among the family about what the best treatment would be – steroids or holistic. The daughter, who was here from Bangalore, was also herself suffering from two angry looking boils on her arm.. Meanwhile, the other side of the family, who we often stay with, was having their own problem – their younger son is suffering from an undiagnosed condition producing fever and loss of weight.
Gerard and I were sorry to leave the family dealing with all these issues, and hope that when we return in three weeks things will be a little better for them all.