the more they remain the same.
The last ten days have been busy. My parents are back in Kolkata after five months or so in Delhi.
My sister took care of them there, while I recovered from typhoid and then galumphed off to Australia.
But at eighty plus, changes are difficult to adapt to. I find both parents frailer than before. My father is now practically bedridden. My sister came with us to Kolkata to help settle them in, as it was no longer practical for me to manage both of them alone on the journey. (Indigo Airlines has excellent ramps for boarding and disembarking from their planes- a great help to the wheelchair-bound.)
We had great teamwork and coordination in both cities, thanks to my kids using their initiative and resources. The SRE, poor man, had been stuck in Durgapur, came home a little before we'd landed in Kolkata, and discovered that the Aquaguard RO system had broken down and the entire kitchen was flooded. ( He'd got very annoyed when he learned that the annual maintenance contract cost a whopping 25% of the cost of the machine, which fact the sales person had not acquainted us with, so he didn't renew the contract. I was in Delhi for my mother's birthday, at the time.) Wet floors annoy me and frighten me- there have been enough fractures in our family. He cleaned it up so well, and also stopped the leak- I wouldn't known about the disaster if he hadn't told me. So my usually domestically challenged husband proved his worth!
Getting my exhausted parents into their room felt like a great achievement- it took around seven hours, door to door. My new computer chair served as a wheelchair for my father, who had walked the long distance to the lift when they had left.
The home nurse came in the next morning. I had told my mother that this time she and my father would have to adapt to having a caregiver, at least from morning to evening.
The home nurse looks and is very young, though she is married and has a young child. She takes excellent care of my father, though he's still getting used to having an 'outsider' look after him. She also massages my mother's aching knees. She cleans methi leaves and coriander leaves and cuts vegetables for me in her spare time. She speaks Hindi, which was a basic requirement for us.
Her husband beats her.
She may or may not have have provoked him. He's about twenty years older than she is.
I'm sure he has problems of his own.
Last night she stayed at her parents' home. Her father works outside the state. She has a younger brother and sister.
What options does she have?
She works hard all day at a difficult job, leaves our house after 8 p.m., gets home and cooks and does various chores, and sleeps after midnight. Deals with various chores before coming to work.
On my morning walk yesterday, I saw a cat up a tree. There were three bristling street dogs below the peepul tree, waiting for her to come down. I tried to chase the dogs away, threw some clods of earth at them, but they refused to budge. I felt quite helpless, and moved on.
I feel the same way about this girl- helpless.
What can one do?
This is my hundredth post. I had hoped to write something light and celebratory, but reality impinged, and my incomplete fluff posts may or may not see the light of day. Despite the futility of many things, I'm so glad that I blog. I hope you are also glad that I do, gentle readers!