But as I am looking through my picture more memories come back
GIRL ON BUS
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
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 !
A MONKEY IN THE HOUSE
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