The first letter from Dr. Rachel Bodley had come at the beginning of 1885. Rama knew it by heart. Anandibai Joshi, the granddaughter of Father’s cousin, was a student at the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. She would be the first Hindu lady doctor. Why her and not me? Rama sighed. Dr. Bodley wanted Rama to come to her cousin’s graduation. I was right to refuse. I’d just settled in at Cheltenham. Rama rubbed her neck.
Why couldn’t the woman accept my refusal? Now she’s written again. The ceremony was in March. She wanted Rama to sail at the worst time of year and endorse Anandibai’s work as a lady doctor. How could she ask such a thing? It’s not as if we’re close. We’ve never met, though Anandibai did invite me to stay with her when Bipin died. That was generous of her. Rama rubbed her forehead. The third envelope had small handwriting. Anandibai had added her plea to Dr. Bodley’s. Maybe I should just make a clean break of things and go.
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