The Coffee Blend
It was 1974. A local resident and friend of the Mehta family in Khartoum made an introduction to a young lady named Usha Mehta, living in Wad Madani, Sudan. The young lady traveling to Nairobi, and this friend thought we should meet. In those days, the tradition was to have an arranged marriage. And so, after being introduced, Usha Mehta and I went for coffee at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, which surprisingly still exists to this day.
We must have talked for almost 2 hours about everything we had in common and our lives. Afterward, when Usha went home, I was asked to make a decision regarding whether or not I wanted to proceed with the relationship. And so I did. 20 days later, we were arranged to be married on Oct 20, 1974.
Shortly after our wedding, 15 days later, we went on a safari in Tanzania, visiting the Northern Circuits from Manyara to Serengeti. Back then, this was all done by road, meaning some excitement was bound to happen along the way. I remember it was a dry day; the weather was perfect for the drive, and, as an added bonus, along the way, we met with a group that was traveling with Big Five, as some of our first travelers since the company was not even a year old at that point. One of the guests was from Syria and met up with us, conversing with Usha Mehta; now, my wife began speaking to him in Arabic since she was fluent as a Sudanese resident living in Kenya, making it a very nice encounter.
That following year, Usha visited India with her father; as for me, having never been before, I made my very first visit to the United States. From day one, we found ourselves exploring different parts of the world; in some way, Usha was part of my path, and now here we are…50 years later. My Family, Big Five, and my Parents Dream in full circle.