Written in India December, 2006 to January 2007

Thirty-five or so years ago, Patric left India for the U.S. with his first wife, Hansa, who was suffering from metastatic breast cancer. They came here for the better treatment that was offered compared to back home. When things got worse and they were desperate, they additionally looked to complementary therapies. Once, they went to a church where a priest and a rabbi together performed a laying-on of hands. To Patric the most important visit at that time was with Nade Brahma Swami, an expert in sound, who blessed Hansa and assured her that she would not suffer or be in pain. And she never was, as sick as she became before she died.

Patric spent his first decade being raised alongside Muslim royalty in the palace of the Nawab. The Nawab is best known for his love of dogs; he owned almost a thousand of them, mostly Greyhounds. The palace was in dispute and the Nawab decided to hand it over to Pakistan. He left the palace, where Patric and his mother, Maisie, and baby brother, Donald, were left under house arrest. Ultimately they were told by the government, who impounded everything, to leave the palace with nothing but a suitcase. Patric carried the suitcase, his mom carried one-year-old baby Donald, and they left the palace. They first went to live with their Aunt Tessie, Maisie's sister (-1946-1950) and then they moved to Ahmedabad to settle. When the Nawab left the palace, he went by plane, along with his personal assistant and Patric's dad, Eric, and his six favorite dogs. He had the other hundreds of dogs poisoned (which he'd asked Patric's dad to do, but he refused) because he said that no one else would care for them the way he did, so euthanasia was preferable. (In the palace each of the dogs had its own room and personal assistant.)

For 15 (or more) years, Patric and his partner, Navingar, and Navingar's wife, Amita, ran a variety show in Ahmedabad. They had a troupe of about 15 employees. The employees were paid each week, and the rest of their cash was put into a steel cabinet at home and was available to anyone of the group if they ever felt they needed more for any reason. Amita, who kept the books, also kept a day job at a bank (from which she recently retired compulsorily at age 60).

Patric came home one day to find the entire cabinet had disappeared ... discovered quickly that Amita had had enough of the casual stuffing-the-cabinet-with-cashhelp-yourself method of bookkeeping, and had opted for a system that was a bit more practical, involving the bank.

Yesterday we visited the school where Patric was sent from -1944 -1947, around age -8-11 years old. Boarding school was strictly Catholic, run by priests, and called St. Mary's, in Abu. We peeked into the window of his dorm room, locked for the holiday, room still stacked with cots and benches. He said that at night, the tigers would come by the dorm, and whichever boy was awake would smell the tiger and alert the rest, who would all get up and peer out the windows from dorm safety. Sometimes they saw it, sometimes not.

Patric's introduction to music started from his mom, who taught him piano from an early age. His first formal lessons in piano started at St. Mary's school in Abu. When he was around nineteen he began to take sitar lessons in Ahmedabad from a guru who was Muslim. When his father discovered that he was associating with this fellow, he kicked him out of the house and essentially disowned him. (Apparently, Eric Marks had seen Muslims behaving very badly when he went with the Nawab to Pakistan and had announced he would never associate with Muslims again; he left Pakistan, retrieved his family from Aunt Tessie's, and moved to Ahmedabad). Patric lived for the next ten years as a student-servant (what's the Guj word?) in the home of his guru and studied sitar. (The story of the 100 X practice and the gum's wife throwing a shoe at him here?) He then moved to Mumbai where he became involved in movie soundtrack creation in Bollywood. He worked as an arranger of huge scores (60-100 musicians) for Indian movies, arranging the central themes as well as composing and arranging openings, closings, and intermissions. He brought in money by the load and became extraordinarily wealthy there, in his late twenties, in the early 1960's. After several years in Mumbai, though, there came political unrest that his employers felt threatened him, and ultimately a Muslim ganglord was hired to escort Patric safely back to Ahmedabad.

At the time Patric collected his cash and kept it in a steel case in his room. For his exit from Mumbai the gangster packed Patric's fancy Chevy (with the wings on the back; he said the car is still around, in Ahmedabad, although not in the greatest condition). With his cash in the trunk and the backseat, they covered it all with a sheet, put him in his car with an armed car before and one after, and drove from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. Told to stop for no one. At the border checkpoint between Malhastra and Gujarat, the forward car opened fire into the air with a machine gun, the checkpoint soldiers all dove for cover, and Patric drove his car on through with his escorts.

When he arrived in Ahmedabad, his mom kept him in the driveway for half an hour, until Patric was able to convince her that, in fact, this car and this cash was really his and was earned honestly in his profession as a musician; he hadn't been in touch with her while he was in Mumbai and had no idea that he'd made it big in the Bollywood scene. Although he'd had no contact with his son in thirteen years since he'd kicked him out of the house, Erie, although reluctantly at first, accepted him back into the house. The fact that he'd become a millionaire in the interim certainly did not hurt Patric's cause.

Patric's partner Navingar died about two years ago. He'd been sick and in the leu for a prolonged period of time in India, and then he died. Patric wasn't able to be with him. He said it just didn't sink in; it wasn't real Then one night he had a dream, real as real could be. Navingar visited him and asked him, "What about Amita?" and with that Patric woke up and sobbed and it was real.

Two nights ago Leah woke up to the sound of Patric yelling in Gujarati in his sleep, and she worried and woke him up. He reported that he was dreaming that someone had killed Margaret, and that he was beating the person, bashing his head and yelling. When he woke to see Leah standing over him, he said that for a moment he thought she was the angel come to take him.

In Ahmedabad, Patric studied textile engineering. He and a friend of his were the star pupils, always one step ahead; at that time, the textile factories were changing from manual to more mechanized methods, and Patric and his partner were very involved in this conversion and apparently quite sought-after.

When Patric returned to Ahmedabad after his years in Bollywood, he worked as a music teacher. One of his students was a wealthy woman who lived in a large lush home. He would go to the home to teach her. Each week, as he walked up the grand hall from the front of the house to the student's bedroom, where he conducted his lessons, he would pass a sitting room, where a guru teacher, Rajnish, would sit with a number of students. He had disdain for such idolatry as the students seemed to be displaying, and each time he passed that scene he would look over and take on an air, make a face that apparently expressed that disdain. One day, as Patric was walking in to give a lesson, he passed Rajnish and heard him call out, "Some people seek God in the Palace," apparently making reference to Patric's presence as an employee in this wealthy home. Immediately, Patric flashed Rajnish an annoyed look and retorted, "And some people seek God in the Bazaar," referencing Rajnish's growing popularity as an iconic guru. He was of the opinion that Rajnish was a false guru, catering after the passing fancies of the wealthy. After the lesson, on his way back down the hallway, Rajnish summoned Patric to come and join him. He invited Patric to attend a public talk he was to deliver that night. Patric attended and was invited to sit close to the stage. One talk and he was hooked.