Chapa Plant for Our Tuni – The Work of Moving On

Flowering Chapa Planted for Tuni

Flowering Chapa Planted for Tuni

It’s been a week since I bathed in the Ganges.  I’ve been living in two places at once.  I am enclosed in some misty and mystical place with Tuni and memories.  I also attend to our life at Shishur Sevay, with our 14 other children.  It’s a cliche, but Tuni’s death has brought us closer, and if ever the girls and staff doubted my sincerity, I think they understand.

Sunday: I organized pictures of Tuni by date because I want to write the story, or maybe I just needed to organize the pictures.  I wrote a report for the government with pictures and with text… I made copies of her medical papers and the death certificate.   I played with Archi in a tub of water.  I cut the hair of two of the girls.

Monday;  Purba and I took the report to the CWC (Child Welfare Committee).  We then stopped by the home of our  President, Judge S.S. Ganguly (retd.) to bring him up to date on Tuni’s death.  Then we went to the Directorate of Social Welfare to leave a report there, and to hand in our papers for license renewal.

Tuesday:  It rained all night Monday and the roads were flooded by morning.  It was like snow days in the US.  Some staff could make it through, others not.  There is a special cozy feeling to such days.  I cleaned my office.  I really did.  The girls cleaned the metal grilles… grounding work for all of us, and time to be together.

Wednesday:  More rain… school closed until Monday.  I slept a lot.  Things fine here…. we are all recovering.  We talk about Tuni.   In our evening prayers we pray for her safe journey

Thursday:  Met with some people who want to help us raise the funds for an elevator.  Estimates had come in by email that morning. This is exciting

Friday:  I remembered in the night that the men at the burial ground had told us we could bring a plant.  I wasn’t sure exactly where it would go or what it was for, but it was unfinished business.   They wanted a Chapa Plant with fragrant white flowers.  We had planted a small Chapa in 2006 and now it towers over the house.  Bijoy and I went out and bought two plants, about 4 ft high, and a neem tree sapling for our house. Then we drove out to the burial ground where we were warmly received.  We planted the trees in the rain.  It was good.  I’ll write more about this at another time.

Planting a tree is not part of any specific tradition, but I needed to do it.  It was a marker…. a third marker.  The first was her death; the second was that I bathed in the Ganges; the third was that I planted a tree.

Back at home, life was continuing as usual.  I took this picture of Barnani reading to Kalpana and Ganga.

Barnani reading to Kalpana and Ganga from her frvorite story book.

Barnani reading to Kalpana and Ganga from her frvorite story book.

Another haiku from years ago

Practicing winter

Does not blunt the icy shards,

Mother’s heart is pierced.


Good night from Shishur Sevay in Panchabatitala, where New Alipore meets Behala in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, South Asia, Planet Earth, The Milky Way Galaxy, in the Universe.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Danae
    Aug 25, 2013 @ 03:37:38

    Beautiful. I can relate to so much… Peace to you and yours


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August 2013
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