...happened to be in London in '88.
Feroza, journeying on ANC/UDF/Woman's League business to Canada, looked me up.
And wasted little time informing me that I had been promoted, my new status -- official tour-guide and valet. Hers
Peremptory though, I arranged to meet with her in the West End, no easy task considering Fi was about as blind as a bat and delayed as one without a pinging device
And refused to wear glasses, her contact lenses constantly lost usually with no awareness on her part.
How she'd manage to avoid arrest during crack-downs by the Security Branch only God, her optician and the Branch hold the key to -- to this day.
Comrade'd in the West End en route to the requisite minor pilgrimage to a little left-wing book-store, a literary mecca for politicos in that jamaana, within minutes we're (re) embroiled in a screaming match in the middle of Tottenham Court Road -- centre Court?
Much to the stiff-lipped horror of the natives.
Then she broke down , tears inevitable, not the first time, as she and I sparred endlessly to the rhythmic demand of an infinitely jingoistic urban tribal rite of passage
To reparation, I beseech'd her to a cup of coffee, which kindly, laughingly through her tears, she permitted me to.
Feroza was bold, and sassy; loud, and gregarious; and in the eye of her hurricane, there was calm, and tenderness and a huge capacity to love.
She'd always -- years later -- apologise profusely to me for an earlier incident, when she'd chided me about my irresponsibility at the depths of my addiction. I'd coincidentally--and inadvertently-- OD'd the next day, resulting in a coma that nearly killed me.
Later,over the years, she would persistently recollect this, and in her crazy, loving way keep saying, 'I'm so sorry, I didn't know it was that bad; are you sure it wasn't me that tipped you over the edge?'.
It wasn't, Feroza, you were the crazy, zany woman with the proverbial heart of gold who couldn't harm a fly, even though you claimed you would, you could, you should.
I still sometimes think your much too early departure was part of that self-same mischief-making, a unique presence in my neck-of-the-woe's....