Once he retired from engineering, Las Vegas resident Jagdish Patel turned to writing.
His books include “The Seven Cs of Happiness: How To Be Happy Using Common Sense” and two novels in his native language, Gujarati.
His memoir “The Shattered Dream: Love Story and Passage to America” documents his move from India to America and his love for Meena, a girl from across the street he hoped would join him.
Patel shares stories of keeping his romance secret in a time when arranged marriages were the rule and “boys and girls didn’t date, so most college graduates had never touched a woman.”
I was busy in a little world of my own; a melancholy young man who didn’t know the ways of the world, who had no worries for the present nor big plans for the future, except to be with all my friends who had gone to America for further studies. I wanted to be part of the bandwagon that was taking young engineers to America, the country going through the Civil Rights Movement, a sexual revolution, and the Vietnam war.
At such a time I saw Meena, and my heart started to beat a little faster. Like the still waters of a lake stirring from a boat being launched at the shore, I came to life with her arrival. I would watch her move in and around her house. The family was waiting for a telephone line, so occasionally she would come to our house to answer a phone call. I would steal a glance and look at her, a bud on her way to become a flower. She would walk in silence, looking at the ground, mostly.