Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Picture Postcards from Purulia

I hope you all are not bored  with my reminiscing

But as I am looking through my picture more memories come back


On the way from the airport to the railway station - the cab has stopped in a traffic jam .

Suddenly I hear a voice beckoning to me.

This is a welcome diversion from my thoughts which are all around constantly calculating if we will have enough time to catch the train

A little girl is calling me from a school bus.

"Didi "( sister ) she calls "Someone is asking you to look at them."

She points at a general area inside the bus

This is clearly a lie!

She simply  wants a break from the boring bus ride and makes up a story about someone calling me from inside the bus!

But I am delighted and then delight her by taking her picture.

She obligingly smiles down at me in the taxi. She is such a sweet looking child and I wish I knew her more

Does this happen to you?

Chance encounters with lovely people you will never meet again but wish you knew.

It happens to me a lot

What kind of person are you, little girl?

Are you loved?

Is  life is good to you ?

Goodbye at the Railway station

Here are my sister and her kids with an R who refuses to pose for the picture. My sister and I are very close and after DH, she is my closest friend.

Her kids are adorable and just so grounded.

My sister warns my nephew to stay away from the railway lines to which he replies calmly ( obviously well used to this drill ) "otherwise the train will come and crush me - turning my flesh and bone into one mash".

This bloodthirsty description is given with almost  relish and no sign of trauma - though the Westernized-me dare never say words like this in front of R

The stairs at Purulia railway station .

Notice how warmly clad everyone is!

Oblivious to the 65-70 degree weather and the incessant sunshine, Purulia dwellers complain about the bitter cold all the time

One person will greet another " Hey! How are you ?( and then without waiting for a reply )  "Isn't it freezing?"

"The icy wind is coming directly from the Himalayas and cutting straight to the bone" another will reply rubbing their hands both for warmth and dramatic effect

I am constantly urged to get a monkey cap for R ( ski mask ).

When I reply that its hot ( seriously, its 70 and sunny !!!) they look at great pity with R and feel sorry for him being saddled with a neglectful mother !



Is there a monkey on the gatepost ?

Why yes there is!

One afternoon we are visited by a whole gaggle of monkeys - this is not such an astounding event for a gang of them come from time to time to visit our neighborhood

For the most part they are harmless- still not wanting to take a chance we all go inside and R and I watch with fascination

A wild rumor circulates that a monkey jumped on to our neighbour with great violence.

Much screaming and shouting and wild fleeing ensues !

It turns out later that the wife was taking a nap on the roof terrace. A monkey tapped her on the shoulder ( to wake her?)

When she awoke and found a monkey staring at her - she was stunned and jumped down from the roof.
Luckily for her ( but unlucky for the person who she fell on ) her fall was broken by her relative!

( This relative was  subsequently  the subject of much ridicule ( as being a person unable to distinguish between a human and a monkey)

When people here ask me if India really has elephants and wild animals roaming the roads - I disappoint them and tell them that its not like that at all. and that all the Indiana Jones movies that have fueled these fatasies of eyeball-eating Maharajas are fictitous

But sometimes it is

Goodbye mom and dad 

My dad and mum come to say goodbye at the Kolkata ( Calcutta ) airport.

I am beyond touched that they come all this way .( 6 hours in a train from Purulia and then a cab and then all this waiting around at the airport - for a flight that is inevitable delayed by the fogs)

What a great blessing the love of our parents is!

And I think how lucky R is to be so loved by his mum and dad and his extended family.

Sometimes life feels harried and hard.

But  sometimes when I really think about it - I feel like I won the lottery of life.

For life hard as it is so so full of love and beauty 


Niksmom said...

That picture of your father holding R has made my eyes teary and I can't see to type! The love oozes from him in that picture. You have indeed won a lottery of riches of the heart and abundant joy of family.

Welcome home.

Lisa said...

Nope I'm not bored I could hear your stories all the live long day.

Anonymous said...

I love every bit of this! I'm not bored at all and I find it so interesting. I love how you compare the cultures a bit, how you see people, how your family (literally) embraces R. It's all simply wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of the girl on the bus and your words, "what kind of person are you, little girl?"

The picture of your dad with R is tender. Yes, there is nothing like the love of a parent. And a grandparent.

Territory Mom said...

This made me smile, laugh and cry. It is so beautiful. What a great family you have. I love hearing your stories, too.

Lisa said...

Hi K,
Here is Gage's story



There is a brief run down about all Gage has gone through.
They are in chronological order from the events that occurred.


Bonsky said...

Welcome back sister!

Becki said...

I've always wanted to visit India. Your posts are fantastic.

Mr. Daddy said...

So glad that Rach and I found you, you truly are a blessing,

good to have you back blogging..

Rachel said...

I could never tire of your stories. You bring the pictures to life and I hope you will post many more.

You visit sounded precious... and the love of your family is most evident.

Though I must say that I snorted aloud at your description of the relative who broke the monkey-awakened woman's fall!

(Now THERE is a sentence I never dreamed I'd write! :)

Much love - and welcome home!

Rachel said...

And yes - I was so touched by the photo of your father & R. R seems so content in his embrace!

Jules said...

Your blog is fascinated and your writing is beautiful. You should post more stories like this.

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