A Passage to India Chapter 6
Aziz does not attend because the party took place on the anniversary of the death of his wife. Aziz did not fall in love with his wife right away. It was an arranged marriage and Aziz was too westernized in thought to accept the marriage. He didn't like the idea of having his wife chosen for him. It wasn't until she gave birth to their first child that he fell in love with her. She died while giving birth to their second son. He takes out his wife's photograph and realizes that he is unhappy. Without his wife, he fears that he might not raise his children properly. When he locks up the photograph, the thought of his wife passes and he does not think of her again. Dr. Aziz runs into another Muslim, Dr. Lal. Dr. Lal asks Aziz why he did not attend Turton's Bridge Party. He tells Aziz that his absence was noticed and drew comments by attendees, especially Turton. Aziz nonchalantly makes an excuse for not attending. He tells Dr. Lal that he doesn not care if people talked about his absence, as if he was looking to instigate a fight with Lal. Lal blames Aziz's attitude on his youth. After this exchange, Aziz begins to worry about skipping the party and being so rash while talking to Dr. Lal. When he arrives home, he finds a letter with a government stamp and begins to panic. The letter is an invitation from Fielding to his home for tea. This letter revives Aziz's spirits. He is happy because Fielding had invited Aziz to dinner once before and Aziz forgot to attend. He is relieved that Fielding invited him once again without rebuke.