“You’re a Nancy in human form,” he said. I took that as the highest compliment, because I like Nancy, the English Pointer, very much. Nancy is full of energy, has the silkiest fur, and she will cuddle but won’t kiss. Except she kissed me on two separate occasions and nobody believes me.
Anyway, I was sitting in the very exclusive archive of the John Ross Palmer studio holding Nancy. John was holding Bobby, and Lily was taking our picture. We were both giddy with excitement, Lily and I, having returned from the Asia Society where Lily had introduced me to one of my literary role models, Chitra Divaruni, a fellow Bengali. I have been reading and loving her work for over twenty years now, so I was quite starstruck. In fact, I was so nervous before the meeting that I was feeling out of sorts and Lily had to feed me butter chicken at the Pondi Cafe and tell me everything would be ok. Of course, Ms. Divakaruni was very nice and friendly, as I knew she would be. I gave her a watercolor I painted years ago, inspired by one of her books. That was a good moment for me. I thanked her for her beautiful writing that has helped me many times.
“We are so proud of Lily,” I then told her. “It was so brave to come join us all the way from India.”
“Why did you say that?” Lily later scolded. But I know why. I know from her writing, that Ms. Divakaruni, who writes so well about homesickness and distance, would not underestimate the magnitude of a very young woman traveling all the way from India by herself to a continent she has never before visited, bringing with her a top notch camera and a lot of dreams.
Later, I went to Aqui, a fusion Filipino restaurant with another good friend. We ate the most amazing Waygu beef carpaccio and a lot of beignets. I’m pretty sure Nancy would have loved that.