It came early this year. And a lot of it. How much? Let’s just say I don’t live on a street anymore, it’s now a river. During the evening the river was at least six inches deep. The cows don’t like it. The garbage flows quickly down the brown mixture. The sewage system is completely over run so we can estimate what the river contains. I will use a lot of soap when washing tonight. That is if the power comes back on and I can pump some water for a shower. My neighbours ran out of water and I allowed them to take some of mine. Many bucket loads later I noticed my own well was very low. So here I am in the dark, low on water, using the last of my computer’s battery life, needing a shower, and listening to the thunder and the rain that is leaking into my house through the plastic over my roof hole. Add to the image two candles weakly burning on a shelf very dimly.
If only I could use the roof as a catch basin, I could have filled the water tank by now.
My Second Wedding
The young man next door is married now. I was invited to various parts of the week long wedding, much of which was unfortunately cancelled due to sand, wind, rain and lightening storms. But this night I got dressed up in my fancy kurta, actually my only kurta, and my beige linen pants that I had custom made for me in Delhi and went to the feast. I went along with the family on the other side of my house, who I have befriended. They reminded me that I needed to give the married couple a gift, which is between 50 to 100 rupees in a nice envelope. The envelope matters and I had to run off to a local shop to get nice one. I gave 100 rupees: admission price. So off we walked just down the street (now a street again now that the water is gone) to a hall off a side street. We walked into the first floor area where the food was being prepared. It was black with black cooking utensils, pots and pans and people sitting on the ground cooking or making chapattis. And by the way, a roti and a chapattis are the same thing, so I learnt today. Up the stairs to the second story where hundreds of very nicely dressed men, women and children crammed together, eating off plates stuffed with all sorts of good food while being bombarded by VERY LOUD MUSIC. I got my plate and put my meagre dinner portions on (I don’t normally eat a lot for dinner) and found a place of relative safe to eat and watch the bride and groom be photographed with each guest. Of course I had my turn too. In this wedding, the groom was dictating all the instructions to the crew and making sure everyone had a picture taken with him and his new wife. Even though there were numerous ceiling fans, it was very hot inside and you could see everyone was sweating. I was the only white person there, and many stared at me and some laughed to see me in my Indian kurta. The kids all know me and came over to shake my hand and say Namaste. Getting to know and play with the kids on my street first has made it easier for their parents to accept this strange foreigner in their midst. (this is another story I’ve yet to tell) But it’s strange, so many people have told me I look Indian. I wonder if I should get a genetic profile done.
So we ate, we watched, we were photo’d and we left. That took about half an hour. I was told that nothing more happens at these events, so why have your ears damaged by staying. You can’t even have a conversation, not that I could have one in any case.
And one more thing, the bride, a lovely young girl, never smiled. I asked why: “Because she’s tired.” I was informed.
The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do you sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish.
You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages. – Messiah’s Handbook, R. Bach