At long last, nearly two months since his departure from Kolkata, Mozoomdar reached Chicago. Although cheerful upon his arrival, convinced that everything he saw at the World’s Fair was graced with God’s presence, PCM soon became disheartened by lack of news from Saudamini. In the first of several letters written to her in Chicago, he attempted to console himself by insisting that despite his longing to see his wife, she “wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the journey” and therefore rightly remained in Kolkata.Note: 55Mozoomdar, Letters, 44-45. Yet his despondence worsened as the beginning of the parliament approached. On the evening of September 10, hours before the conference would begin, he wrote:
I feel lonely and tired. I wondered why I haven’t received your letters yet. Then I saw your handwriting. I feel numb and absent-minded. Write to me. Write anything. Whatever you write will be good for me. It will calm my mind, and also be good for you. Can’t you write a few lines to the one for whom you have done so much? I want to scold you, but my eyes tear up instead…. I think about you a lot. I don’t know whether you think of me. Heaven will mean nothing to me if I’m there and you aren’t. I will pray for hell, then…. I await your hopeful voice in this foreign land. Don’t hesitate to make yourself known.Note: 56Ibid, 46-47.
It was not until over a week later that the longed-for letter arrived, postmarked August 9. Preoccupied with the proceedings of the World’s Parliament of Religions, PCM’s response indicates that he was impatient with his wife’s brevity, feeling too busy himself to write everything down.Note: 57Ibid, 49-50. He also had doubts about his ability to keep in touch with her during the remaining three months of his stay in the US. These doubts appear to have been well-founded, for the final letter in the series ends mid-sentence: “I should have addressed all my letters via Spears, because I don’t know how they will be delivered if I change my address. And my American address…” Note: 58Ibid, 51-52. This abrupt ending marks the end of the final extant page of the preserved letters, and suggests that all subsequent pages have been lost. Though Mozoomdar’s health was poor, nothing indicates that he stopped writing during his remaining time in the US. Unfortunately, no records of Saudamini’s letters to PCM exist.
- Mozoomdar, Letters, 44-45. ↩
- Ibid, 46-47. ↩
- Ibid, 49-50. ↩
- Ibid, 51-52. This abrupt ending marks the end of the final extant page of the preserved letters, and suggests that all subsequent pages have been lost. Though Mozoomdar’s health was poor, nothing indicates that he stopped writing during his remaining time in the US. Unfortunately, no records of Saudamini’s letters to PCM exist. ↩