I completed the first draft of Chapter 11 a few days ago. Here are the highlights:
- Gopal in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. Contradictory views about women’s freedoms, inflammatory speeches about missionaries. As if setting out to undo the image of himself as a progressive thinker and a supporter of women.
- Anandi getting ready for Gopal’s arrival. Feeling anticipation about being reunited with husband after a two year separation. Feeling worry about coping with Gopal 2.0.
- Resisting pressure to convert to Christianity from the Dean of the college.
- Visit to well-known churches in Brooklyn, private meetings with “star” ministers of those churches. Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin) and Thomas Dewitt Talmage.
- Glimpses of Anandi’s emerging identity as a physician. Her illness and the effect of this on her studies.
- Hints of discord and disconnect between Anandi and Gopal.
The one constant in the story: the love, engagement and commitment between Anandi and her American “aunt” Theodocia, as exemplified in these letter excerpts:
I send you some flowers & I hope you will accept them (not as my love but) with my love for they might dry or spoil before you receive them.
Had I been of the opinion that punctuality in one’s correspondence is the only means or sign of one’s love (which we can judge), I would have been in despair as to my ever making, far less keeping, a friend. But I always have hoped for a better differentiation between love and punctuality from my friends. You know, dear aunt, you have a very neglectful and non punctual niece. And that you are so indulgent in and forgiving to her that she never feels afraid to take advantage of your good nature.