Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Monsoon (Aliyah)

Here I am, still in Kuthur. I spent Saturday and Sunday going to and from Chengalpattu by train. I was trying to go to Gujarat to visit my friends the educators Jyothibhai and Malini Behn Desai, but there are big floods in Gujarat and the train was canceled. I may try to go again later, or I may not. Much as I would like to see Jyothi and Malini, I want to have as much time here as possible. My departure date is coming up, much too close.

I went to a wedding yesterday, of one of Krishnammal’s beneficiaries. The great show and loud music only confirmed in my thought that, if I ever marry, I want the plainest Quaker wedding possible. Actually, it will not be the plainest possible, since I do want to have an actual wedding. My parents were married four times to each other (long story) and never had a wedding. Everyone looked happy except the bride and groom.

Krishnammal never met the President. She was going to go, but she learned that she would not actually be able to talk much, and there would be a huge crowd. She was definitely not going to go just to see a man she doesn’t know. We are going to Madras on the 7th for some sort of prawn meeting. I have been trying to decipher the provisions of the new Coastal Aquaculture Authority Bill. Basically, the bill is neither good nor bad. What matters is who is appointed to this new Coastal Aquaculture Authority.

It poured yesterday afternoon. The roof became a swamp, the dry tank began to fill up again, and a broad brown river ran through the ashram courtyard. I rushed out to rescue some drying mangoes on the roof that no one else had remembered. The rain soaked through the shoulders of my shirt in seconds, and the trailing hem of my skirt became sodden as I bent to lift the cloth, mangoes and all, out of the ankle-deep water. The courtyard is still a bit muddy this morning, although the day is bright and clear. It never becomes cloudy until mid-afternoon.

I finally bought a new pair of chappals. The dog eventually completely ruined my last pair. The new ones look a great deal like Krishnammal’s. I hate shoe-shopping with a completely irrational passion.

Appa wants me to drink milk after dinner. All right, I’ll drink milk after dinner. It’s his goal that by the time I leave I should be six inches taller and ten kilos heavier. I may be on the way to being heavier. Trying to grow taller, I fear, is a lost cause. I remember, when I was ten years old, someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Having always hated this question (please ask me what am I now!), I answered “Taller!” Later I decided that I wanted to grow up to be an octopus. I’m currently in training for this profession.

Wow, this is an entry of really scattered thoughts. Sorry.



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