The enchanting Seine was my closest friend when I lived in Paris.
And thus, it is no surprise that she plays a large role in my latest novel, The Palace of the Seven Stories.
My dad, myself, and Gerard Charles of the Joffrey Ballet.
My dad conceived, organized, and sponsored the St. Louis Dance Festival every year, since its inception in 2000.
He was especially thrilled because Gerard Charles of the world-famous Joffrey Ballet choreographed the St. Louis Dance Festival Finale in May 2014 for the 15th annual event.
My mom, Asha Prem, and me!
My mom and I at a wedding in 2015. I am wearing one of my favorite saris. I ADORE saris.
My dad, circa 1961
One of my favorite pictures of my dad, aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth.
My extraordinarily elegant grandmother!
My very dignified grandmother, Prabha Devi, in about 1935.
Professor Kevin Herbert
My amazing professor of classics, Kevin Herbert, in a photo from his military days in World War II. He flew a B-29 over Japan, as a tailgunner!
Madame Eglantine Menget
My French grandmother! I stayed with Madame Eglantine Menget in her lovely home of St. Cyr-sur-Loire outside of Tours before I headed to Paris to study.
Madame Menget was a dynamo of a woman; her husband, a World War II vet, had died the year before and she started taking in students to keep herself busy. She made fresh meals for me every day, from tomatoes and other vegetables in her garden.
She died in 2013; I am however in close contact with her daughter Anne-Marie and son-in-law Francois.
She was supremely courageous, strong, and taught me the wonderful virtues of self-respect and a magnificent independence of thought.
Actually all the elders in my life---from my dad, to my grandmother, to Professor Herbert, taught me those same qualities. I am incredibly blessed and fortunate to have had them all in my life.