Ducklings

Just another day, and no way to really explain it all, so i’ll start from the middle, today, and over time you will share the future, and hear about the past.

I walk along the narrow broken street lined with shops and carts, mostly still closed, with seven little girls in their school uniforms behind me.  I’m mother duck with ducklings.  I’m white skinned in a sari.  My girls are brown skinned, dressed in proper white shirts and pleated red frocks,  white socks, with black buckled Mary Janes. At six am we are on our way to school.  Four hours later I will return to get them, but then the road will be crowded with cars, cycles, and trucks.  And the sun will be beating.

Ducklings_1093cr_2 

 

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. trudi schutz
    Aug 03, 2007 @ 21:27:00

    I love reading your blog. Please send more. I send you my love and my thoughts are with you. Trudi

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  2. Sipra Bhattacharyya
    Aug 04, 2007 @ 10:04:26

    Who says telepathy does not work. My thoughts were with you and you remembered me!
    Will be back to Kolkata next month and be with you.
    Love to the wonderful kids.

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  3. Sreeparna Basu
    Mar 24, 2008 @ 17:02:40

    want a job

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  4. joycegodwingrubbs2
    Apr 15, 2016 @ 10:02:51

    I imagine the site but my mind goes to the bystanders, the people looking from doorways and the people who watch with skepticism. They see the white skinned lady leading the children and their thoughts rain from joy at such a site of promise, to prejudice which says that “that woman is” and then the thoughts range to things connected to doubt, to jealousy, and to envy.” But there are others who wish them well, feel gratitude that the American cares, stays and protects. Such is life and such is our world; a balance of good and darkness. For me, I picture the pride of the white skinned woman, her caring and joy at those who following closely behind. As for the “ducklings,” I believe that like their fuzzy little waddling counterparts, they are aware of their “feathers maturing”, they feel the protection of their leader, and they waddle with anticipation. The entire image, for me, is of the best of human nature, the courage of change and leadership, and the encouragement of life renewing itself as the children exhibit the hope of better citizens for the future. God Bless each and everyone.

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  5. joycegodwingrubbs2
    Apr 15, 2016 @ 10:04:21

    Sorry, “I imagine the sight” couldn’t edit. LOL

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  6. Dr. Michelle Harrison
    Apr 15, 2016 @ 18:03:36

    Joyce, the comment came through in my mail so I’ve copied YOUR comment here:

    “I imagine the site but my mind goes to the bystanders, the people looking from doorways and the people who watch with skepticism. They see the white skinned lady leading the children and their thoughts rain from joy at such a site of promise, to prejudice which says that “that woman is” and then the thoughts range to things connected to doubt, to jealousy, and to envy.” But there are others who wish them well, feel gratitude that the American cares, stays and protects. Such is life and such is our world; a balance of good and darkness. For me, I picture the pride of the white skinned woman, her caring and joy at those who following closely behind. As for the “ducklings,” I believe that like their fuzzy little waddling counterparts, they are aware of their “feathers maturing”, they feel the protection of their leader, and they waddle with anticipation. The entire image, for me, is of the best of human nature, the courage of change and leadership, and the encouragement of life renewing itself as the children exhibit the hope of better citizens for the future. God Bless each and everyone.”

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  7. Dr. Michelle Harrison
    Apr 15, 2016 @ 18:19:24

    And now for my response: I love your description but little of it is or was the reality. West Bengal was under Communist Party Marxist rule and Americans were hardly welcome. English had been taken out of government primary school education (while the leaders of course sent their children to learn English and to study abroad.) While I walked the girls to school, I was also facing death threats from within the community because I would not hire “political” people, and I would not give community men access to the girls. That’s aside from the issue of protection money. The girls, as I learned later, would have preferred I not go with them to school as I was an embarrassment to them because I am white. I sensed it but it was years before we could really talk about these things. I would have been happy to have stayed back because I really understood. At the time of riots at Shishur Sevay, no one would help, not even the police. I have many blog posts about what that was like.

    The other part is the issue of my white skin and assumption that I was a Christian missionary. No one here even knows what a Jew is. They think it’s a part of Christianity. People assume I have privilege here when I face many obstacles, including with the government because of my white skin. That’s what my recent problems were when it required I go to Delhi to work it all out. Sometimes I’m seen as the British, the Colonialists, and I love to tell people that’s totally wrong because I’m American and we kicked out the British long before India did.

    With my hair now dark, and wearing the sari, and accoutrements of an Indian woman, I am often taken for Indian and that actually makes life easier.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reading and wonderful imagination.

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