Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Stockholm Diary - 14

Garden Dinner with Seema & Stefan
Yesterday, July 29, Seema and Stefan Jonsson of Uppsala, good friends of Anju and Naresh, invited us to dinner to their home in Uppsala. It was an informal birthday party of Seema. The party turned out to be a good candle light dinner amidst the cherry trees in the rear lawns of their house. Seema is the daughter of my senior colleague Ambassador S.K. Arora. Both Seema and Stefan, a baby faced hospitable couple, are academics. Seema teaches at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Stefan is a Professor of Economics at Uppsala University. To my enquiry with Stefan as to how and where he met Seema ?Stefan told me that they studied together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in late 1980s where their fathers were posted. Later Stefan worked in Orissa on a social forestry project funded by SIDA, a development aid agency of Sweden and more recently as the Science Attaché at the Swedish Embassy in New Delhi. Stefan knows India very well.  Their house appeared more Indian than Swedish with Pipli umbrella from Orissa in the garden and original poster of old Indian movie ´Do Ankhen Baran Hath´and many more Indian decorations. The evening was concluded with a session of Teenpati. We remembered the Diwali evening with Teenpati with many Swedish friends which we had with Seema and Stefan during one of our earlier visits some years before. It was a pleasure to meet them again.

SG of UN Dag Hammarskjöid
Uppsala is, 70 kms. from Stockholm, the fourth largest city of Sweden after Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. It is a renowned centre of higher education particularly medical research and biochemistry with Uppsala University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. I was told that many Indian students and researchers come to Uppsala under various exchange programs. The Fyris river jig -jags the city with lush green trees on the banks. Swedish Diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld who was the Secretary General of the UN in 1950s belonged to Uppsala. He died in a plane crash in early 1960s.

In the evening, July 30, we would have an informal dinner at home with some visitors from Delhi and local friends. It is gratifying to note that the friends circle of Anju and Naresh is quite considerate and invite close visiting relatives of each other for lunch or dinner as a matter of respect and regard. We have been the beneficiary of this tradition ever since we came to Stockholm on July 4.

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