If not checking out the happenings on my Facebook page and profile, you are missing out! I have been periodically posting cool images and brief snippets from my work-in-progress. I will continue to do so in the months ahead, so be sure to find me on Facebook. “Friend” me and “Like” me while you are there!
I am collecting images to enhance the story, all of which will eventually be placed into a “Dr. George Darcy” album in my Portrait Gallery. These are a couple recent finds I love:
Nice, hun? I never tire of the beautiful garments worn in India. As for the snippets I am sharing on Facebook, they are short – very short. Here I will share a longer one! Just as a preface, the novel recounting the life and times and loves of George Darcy is formatted with chapters devoted to the experiences happening in the various locations George finds himself as the years unwind: Bombay, Calcutta, Mysore, Derbyshire, and so on. Interspersed are select portions of his personal memoirs, George always addressing his thoughts to someone dear to him to has passed on. In My Dearest Mr. Darcy the introductory chapter is taken from George’s journals, to give an idea of what I mean. Enjoy–
George’s Memoirs ~ April 1806
Father, this time I swear it was not my idea. I was fine with residing in Junnar with Jharna for the duration of my life and could envision myself working at the hospital until my hands were too decrepit to hold a scalpel. If there is any doubt you can read every journal entry for the past two years. Never a word about embarking on another mission abroad. Then last week Nimesh comes to dine with us and breaks the news that he has accepted a post with Drs. Reddy and Desai for a two-year assignment studying and practicing Yunani medicine in northern India between Delhi and Agra. Now, I confess that this was intriguing to me. How could it not be? I have longed to learn more of the blended Greek and Persian healing system created by Avicenna a thousand years ago. I have read The Canon of Medicine a dozen times and sought out every Yunani practitioner heard of in our travels. Those are rare in the south and midlands. I have been fascinated by those techniques and medication that are undeniably Ayurvedic yet with a twist or incorporated with unique methods that must be of an Islamic or other root. Indeed I have long wished to travel into the north where Yunani physicians are thickly located. Nevertheless, I am content with the knowledge and skills I have. Truly I am! So I was listening to Nimesh and politely asking questions about his travel plans when Jharna interjects, “I have long desired to travel north. Kshitij traversed the breadth of northern India from Punjab to Nepal to Bengal, even to the roots of the Himalayas, and the stories he told were spellbinding. It filled me with yearning. Oh to see the Taj and stroll the banks of the Ganges!” At this point the drama was running high, I have to say. I was taken aback by the emotional velocity she was employing but thought it was to placate Nimesh that she wasn’t too upset over him leaving for two years. Then she looks at me and says, “George, we must accompany him. My wanderlust is reasserting itself and you are growing musty.” Musty? ME? I was severely offended! I don’t intend to ever be musty until moldering in a box six-feet under! Nimesh jumped on the idea faster than a grasshopper, saying that he intended all along to invite us. He yammered on about it being a dream of mine followed by additional nonsense that he “needed my expertise and superior comprehension to decipher the finer nuances” of the techniques, etc. Schemer! I sat there stunned – yes, I was stunned speechless as difficult as that may be to believe – while they laid the entire agenda. Jharna was jotting notes and barking orders like a general! As if there is a major rush.
Once I was alone with Jharna I dug in deep. I had to be sure she wasn’t sacrificing for me. Honest to God, Father, I am not unhappy in Junnar! How could I be? I love my life with Jharna and the boys and love my work at the hospital. It is more than I have ever dreamed of. She insisted that her desire to roam was real and I know her well enough to know when she is lying. She wasn’t in this. Her heart was sincere and I admit that surprised me. I never knew how much she enjoyed moving around with Kshitij, assuming she did so as an obedient wife rather than with her own hunger to experience new places. After all this time I am yet learning new facets of this incredible woman God has gifted me! She did add as proof that we should accept the offer that, “Your eyes were glowing and lit up brighter than a flame.” Nicely poetic I suppose but I am a physician and can assert with confidence that both of these are physically impossible! They may have sparkled a bit, I’ll concede that point, especially when Nimesh said they would be spending time with Mohammad Šarif Khan. Now THAT is an opportunity I can honestly say I would hate to miss!
So now we are up to our eyeballs with packing and preparing for a lengthy absence from the house in Junnar. Gita and the others will remain, of course, and all will be well here. Jharna has insisted on new clothing for everyone. I wish I could argue that as a necessity but alas I am apparently too like a woman in that regard, as Jharna teases. Merchants are flooding through the gates all day. It is crazy! The Sardar has sent a handful of soldiers to add to the escort. I am not sure that was vital now that the British have control of the area and we are part of the medical contingency, but when it comes to the safety of Jharna I am as rabid as her father. Sasi is beside himself with glee, and I mean that almost literally. He cannot stop talking – again, literally – about the Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, and so on that he can explore. He is 16 now and as enamored with ancient history as ever. We suspect his wish of becoming an antiquarian or archeologist is here to stay so this adventure will be perfect for him. Another reason to embrace our plans with glee.
So there you have it. Off we will be in a couple more weeks. And, yes, I will finally confess that while not looking for it I am thrilled beyond words. Dr. George Darcy is on the move! Again.
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I hope you enjoyed that little taste of what is shaping up to be a BIG story about an amazing man. Come see me on Facebook for more!