Friday, August 20, 2004

To Mark The Passage Of A Friend

For those who read and enjoyed Jill Lowe Yadav's memoir/travelogue called "YADAV: A Roadside Romance", I'd like to share the sad news that she died, in the UK, on 19th August 2004. She was in her mid-sixties. Yadav was with her in England, and all her children too. I am told she was peaceful and not in pain. She was especially keen that all her friends should remember her with gladness rather than sorrow. There's going to be a gathering to celebrate her life in August, in Delhi, but I won't be here so I won't be able to attend. If I get updates, I'll post them here.

Jill learnt she had cancer just about a year ago, but was told quite early that it may be impossible to treat it. She'd had no obvious symptoms till she developed a pain in her hip. The doctors were unable to locate the primary site and after she'd had a few radiation treatments, she said she'd prefer to enjoy whatever time she had left, rather than struggle with the treatment. She was quite accepting and philosophical about her condition. The last time I saw her was on the afternoon before she flew to England, about a month ago.

She was girlish and enthusiastic about the trip, even though she said she really didn't want to go. She was looking frail, but her hair had grown back in, looking like a trendy little pixie-cut. I think we both recognized we wouldn't meet again, but it was a happy, light-hearted meeting nevertheless, as she packed away her things and despaired of ever getting her bedroom tidied up before her departure at midnight. Yadav was there and also her friend Barbara, who made two cups of very strong coffee. We hugged and wished one another well, and ... that was that.

Wherever you are, Jill, I raise my cup of Italian espresso to you, with happy memories of our lunches at the Italian Consulate Cafe in Delhi!

4 comments:

Amrobilia said...

Oh, no! N I just happened to have read our e-mail exchange on Yadav: was browsing through old mail n was toying with the idea of writing her a mail n then realised I'd lost her mail ID.

N when I was in Delhi recently some friends who had read 'A Roadside Love Story' after I had told them about it, enquired after her..."How is your friend, Jill?" they asked. "She isn't my friend," I answered.
"I've just met her once because..." n I had to stop it there.

But what a gentle person, n what a nice book n the kindest eyes I ever saw.

Amrobilia said...

Oh, no! N I just happened to have read our e-mail exchange on Yadav: was browsing through old mail n was toying with the idea of writing her a mail n then realised I'd lost her mail ID.

N when I was in Delhi recently some friends who had read 'A Roadside Love Story' after I had told them about it, enquired after her..."How is your friend, Jill?" they asked. "She isn't my friend," I answered.
"I've just met her once because..." n I had to stop it there.

But what a gentle person, n what a nice book n the kindest eyes I ever saw.

Amrobilia said...

Oh, no! N I just happened to have read our e-mail exchange on Yadav: was browsing through old mail n was toying with the idea of writing her a mail n then realised I'd lost her mail ID.

N when I was in Delhi recently some friends who had read 'A Roadside Love Story' after I had told them about it, enquired after her..."How is your friend, Jill?" they asked. "She isn't my friend," I answered.
"I've just met her once because..." n I had to stop it there.

But what a gentle person, n what a nice book n the kindest eyes I ever saw.

Marginalien said...

You're right, her eyes were very kind. And thanks, you're right, the sub-title is 'A Roadside Love Story'. It was a sudden friendship, which flared up almost inspite of itself -- I met her when my life was at Maximum-Recluse setting and we couldn't meet very often. But she stayed in touch and she seemed to be living such a very unusual life that it was impossible not to want to know more! She was always very glad to 'share' -- but more than anything, I think, the quality I associate with her is her youthfulness. She was so very enthusiastic about everything she did, and also diffident and shy, in the way of a very young girl. I know one person who thought it was an act of some sort, because she couldn't believe any grown person was really so open and trusting. But I think Jill absolutely was that way and perhaps some of her troubles arose from her wishing that the world was a kinder, gentler place than it is.