I Feel Like Knitting

I feel like knitting.  I want to pretend I'm sitting in a quiet garden, no maybe on a beach, with quiet little waves lapping on the shore… my children playing…. I feel like knitting as I sit here at my computer.  In one room the children are learning math, learning to tell time, with words in Bengali and English.  Circles, little hands, big hands, numbers, appear on the chalkboard.

In the other room the little ones are sleeping, afternoon nap time, and some of the staff are napping too.  I love the sounds, the teaching; i love the faces of the little ones sleeping, so much at peace.  I love this home and these children and what we have together.

Outside the new guards sit and I hear their voices too… everything so mellow as we wait for the police to arrive.  The trouble has not gone away.  It has gotten worse, but maybe now after all this time the police will really show up.  Last week I met with the head of the local police and he promised to visit, set a time and all, and didn't come… Earlier today when the mob was gathered outside I called him again and he said he would send someone right away — maybe three hours ago.  In the meantime it has been awful, and maybe he won't even show.

Today my new security company started.  Immediately another political Dada came and this one I actually invited in to talk.  But maybe he will call a protest and block our road.  The issue is my changing the security company because the guards were now answering to the Dada's and not to me.  As I write, they are riding past our house on their bicycles, not part of the Dada's.


Few things have shocked me, but I am shocked by the absencee of any protection from the police or the political people.  I'm shocked as a woman (too many romantic movies) that when I call for help, when I make clear I am frightened, no one responds.  I try to identify what I am afraid of…  I am afraid of violence, and sexual violence.  I feel the anger.  I am alone, as are my twelve girls and our female staff.  One of the Dada's yelled at one of our teachers, 'You should walk with your head down."  They want me to walk with my head down, which actually I often do… but that's not the point.  I'm afraid they will invade our home.  The situation has become volatile.  Main Dada is not rational, even when he is sober.


I'm afraid because of how much this consumes of my time and energy.  I made a list of urgent things I had to do.  It's an important list involving our future, licenses, money, etc., but I have gotten to NONE of it today, or yesterday.  I blog because I have no yarn or knitting needles but this keeps my mind steady and passes the time as I wait for the police, who probably will not come.  It has been fifty minutes since they called and said half an hour.  I know that.  But still I can't get started on any work I have to do.


I used to knit a lot, at home, on airplanes, at meetings…. my last knitting was a pair of booties for the baby of the young woman who we thought was my daughter's birth sister… such tangled lies here.. she had the baby but I don't see them anymore.  That's another story altogether….

The local women gathered too, this time to make fun of me, to belittle me.  there is much jealousy about my girls, about how they live, the food they eat, the clothes they wear, and that they are being educated.


I interrupt my knitting/blogging to report that three police arrived, two in uniform and one detective I've met before when two kids ran from school and he is an angel!  I was so happy to see him, and he understood.  So, first, the police WILL come!!!  This is so incredibly meaningful.  He gave me his cell phone number.  I am relieved.  He tried to talk to the Dadas, and more screaming by the men and now a chorus of women.  He decided that we will all meet to discuss this at the police station in the next day or so.  He instructed the new security company to carry on as ordered by police.  I told him I'd talk but I wasn't changing companies.  He understood.  I found out he knew the political person who came, who is nephew to councilor.  I took the officer through Shishur Sevay and he met the kids.


So now I have no excuses not to get the work done that is waiting, but I'm exhausted.  I got a response.  I called for help and I got a response, not when I wanted it, but it came and that is wonderful.  It doesn't take much to put me back in my most optimistic frame of mind.  But I'm sad because I worked so hard to have a good relationship with our neighbors.  It's too big a divide, and they are obligated to be more angry than their men. They are given to screaming fights in the night, when instead of quiet it is more like bar brawls outside.

I cleaned out the electric shed where the guards kept their things.  I found a bag of condoms… I don't know what really went on here at night.  We once had a guard who locked us in and went for tea while we were still asleep in the early morning.  Our two guards (who still have jobs with their company) are still outside pacing, hanging out with the Dadas, giving evidence as to why I had to fire them.

Our physiotherapist has come and I hear Bornali squealing in happiness as her calipers are put on so she can stand.  My kids are so happy — me too.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cici
    Feb 25, 2009 @ 06:03:00

    gross. a bag of condoms?
    i knew those guards were sketchy.


  2. Travelingcloud
    Feb 25, 2009 @ 10:05:55

    Very! You know, they were not out of a job, just transferred, so I think they must have had some business going with the local dadas. Now I will press charges against their empoloyer. THEIR guards brough complaint against ME for transfer!!!! I’m up for the battle.
    love you,


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February 2009
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