Our last few days in Kolkata now seem like a dream: farewell meals and meetings with friends, a Satsang at home on the last Sunday before we left, (which was so beautiful and so moving that I found it hard to control my tears); a delightful, though all-too-brief visit from our daughter-in-law.......
Gandhi Jayanti was when we packed our personal luggage and isolated it in the corner of one room. The packers invaded our house on the morning of the 3rd , and a whirlwind reigned all over, as they were a large team and we were outnumbered. They were experts at dismantling/packing /wrapping/numbering. By the evening of the 4th October we had some 163 packages ready for despatch. We were still staying in the house as we had the landlord's beds and air conditioner in my parent' room, and decided to use old sheets, cushions and towels that we could give to our maid before we left.
Too sleepy to get up and check, I wondered whether the packers had even opened the cutlery drawer in the glass-fronted sideboard.
I was saddened to see that some of the loaders looked far too old for such heavy work,but they were an enthusiastic crew. This old gentleman had a fabulous moustache, and was quite happy to pose for a photograph!
Kolkata has had a heavy, long monsoon this year, and I was worried about the cardboard cartons getting wet in the rain. God was very kind, and the day was mostly bright and sunny. But, after the truck had been loaded, we had the deluge to beat all deluges- I've seen very heavy rain in my seven years in Kolkata, but never anything like this. We had the house cleaned up thoroughly, quite astounded by the amount of trash that emerged from various corners. We said our farewells to Meena, my trusted helper of over seven years, who had even helped me unpack when I moved to Kolkata, and Anil, the boy who kept my bathrooms and fans scrubbed and shining. Then a young man from the SRE's office came to take charge of the house, and that marked the end of a rich and eventful chapter in our lives. Arun drove us through flooded roads to the company guest house, where we bathed and changed, and then went for a lovely, intimate dinner at a cousin's home.
We had decided to settle our Tolly Club dues before we left. I had to capture the SRE's pensive look as he overlooked the green......
Our younger son and older daughter were at the airport to receive us.
A new chapter of our lives begins!