Shishur Sevay at the End of the Lane

It has been hard explaining exactly what is the trouble, and why we have to move, but we can still stay in the general neighborhood.  So I made a picture.  When I was a kid I spent hours and hours drawing house plans.  I’d browse magazines of house plans.  I’d imagine common space and individual rooms.  I liked simple designs, “L” shaped… So I went online last night to look at house plans and ended up downloading a trial version of SmartDraw.  I took a landscape template and spent much of today making a picture that represents our situation.  In a way, working on the diagram has been an escape, a meditation on our situation.

We live at the end of the lane.  The houses in RED represent threats to us.  House A monitors all visitors and staff, listens to people talk as they go by, comments on the children, and eventually repeats all he hears to whomever will listen.  He is a man with political power.  As I wrote below, none of the other men will come past his house to help us. 

  END-OF-LANE4

Then there is House B, a partner to House A, who also rents out shacks in the area, and thus he controls the tenants.  Recently he opened a tiny store right next to Shishur Sevay.  The music blasts through the neighborhood, so even people who would otherwise talk quietly outside are yelling to each other.

Once out on the road our situation is better, and probably as good as it might be anywhere.  We are known, and respected.  We shop at local stores. Our girls go to school and meet other local children at the bus stops.  I am often referred to affectionately as “Mother Teresa of our Area.”  It’s really funny.  We have a good relationship with the rickshaw wallahs, as I have helped some of their kids, and I always tip well.  If you take a rickshaw from the nearest major road and ask for “The foreign lady with the children,” they will take  you right to our house.

How did we get into such a mess?  Well, House A has a small fan factory in his ground floor.  The owner of that factory was someone we knew for years and trusted.  He is the one who showed us the house, and when I went to see it and walked past his little factory in House A, I thought how nice it was to be close to people I knew.  I wasn’t alone in this.  The rest of the Board thought it was fine too.  You don’t have to be a foreigner to be fooled.

I want us to stay in the neighborhood because Gibi and Seema are close by and they are our support, the ones we call if we need help, if I have to take a child to the hospital, if I am sick — they are part of our DAILY lives.  They too are part of the neighborhood and their presence and support add to our security — except at the end of the lane.  They can’t help us here BECAUSE they are part of our support.

The girls have had a good day, a mixture of schooling, story telling, dance, and now TV.  The radio outside is blaring but I don’t even try to do anything as we will be moving.  I’m also working on a wishlist of what we want/need.  We need space, accessible space.

I was going to save this for another blog, but here goes: 

 SAFETY AND PROXIMITY TO THE CURRENT LOCATION

    • IN SAFE LOCALITY
    • PLOT BOUNDARY WALLS
  • HOUSE — STRUCTURALLY SOUND FOUNDATION, WALLS, ROOF 
  • WATER SUPPLY
  • ELECTRICAL SYSTEM GROUNDED FOR MODERN TECHNOLGY
  • PLUMBING – SANITATION 
  • ACCESSIBILITY
    • FROM OUTSIDE
    • WITHIN HOUSE
  • HOUSE – MUCH OPEN AND COMMON SPACE, WITH MOVABLE DIVIDERS 
    • 1500 SQ FT GROUND FLOOR
    • CLASSROOMS AND REHAB FOR HANDICAPPED CHILDREN –LARGE SPACE WITH PARTIAL DIVIDERS-MOVABLE 
    • OFFICES
    •  KITCHEN AND PANTRY
    •  DINING ROOM
    • BATHROOMS
    • MEDIA ROOM AND LIBRARY
  • 1500 SQ FT FIRST FLOOR.
  •     DORMITORY SPACE
  •     DRESSING ROOM
  •     CLASSROOMS
  •     SUPERINTENDENT’S ROOM
  •     LAUNDRY ROOM
  •     SUPPLY ROOM
  • Roof
  •     laundry lines
  •     play areas

     Garden

    •  play area
    •   covered jacuzzi

              RABBIT HOUSE

Today I learned that the girls were worried about Jelly our dog and also our rabbit — would we take them?  I told them the story of how I once bought a battery operated aerating travel tank to move my angel fish from Boston to Pittsburgh.  I told them Jelly will come with us.

That reminds me about the wild dogs who live outside and howl all night.  The post office won’t deliver mail here because of the wild dogs.  Letters are left at that “friendly factory” for us.  Sometimes I carry a cane or umbrella just to keep the dogs from us.

You know, it really is bad.  I worry sometimes about just being a wimp.  Well, maybe I am but it’s time to wimp out and get my kids and me to the other end of the lane.

It’s ten and I’m heading for bed.  The girls are watching TV as it is Saturday night.  A few nights ago I went to bed and asked, “Is everyone asleep?”  I got several, “Yes, mummy,” responses.  So I asked WHO was asleep and the sleepers revealed their names,,,, and yeah, they finally got it and we all had a good laugh.  I love my life here.  It’s hard but there is nothing else I would want to be doing now in my life.  I just have to get us to the other end of the lane… HELICOPTER?

 W-Crowsnest_8535CR-psdWWeb-0101

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Judi Kloper
    Feb 27, 2011 @ 00:36:44

    Michelle,
    Would it be OK if I put the word out to friends from India (some from Calcutta) to see who might be able to help? Would you mind if I did this?
    Judi

    Like

    Reply

  2. Michelle
    Feb 27, 2011 @ 08:19:23

    I am happy for help in any direction! I needed to clarify the problem in my own mind, and find a way to communicate it. The message is out…. Thank you.

    Like

    Reply

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