Every New Year’s Day I struggle to find resolutions for the coming year- at least, those that I will manage to keep for longer than a few days. Like everyone else, life takes over; I am running just to keep up with myself, and nothing has yet been important enough to load onto the treadmill with me. Last New Year I finally found something that deserves the effort. Let me explain…
I spent part of my childhood in the hazy heat of an African city, teeming with people, vehicles, animals. My earliest memories are of noise and bright colour, tastes that were sharper, smells which were stronger than they are here, out of Africa. When circumstances forced our sudden departure we left behind a few of the people closest to our hearts: Bapuji, Ba, Indira, Sudhir and Anil. Bapuji is ninety-eight, and still working, although he has cut down to six and a half days a week. Ba is a ninety-year-old pocket-sized powerhouse. Together with their daughter Indira, and son-in-law Sudhir, they look after their son Anil, who is severely disabled with cerebral palsy and has an enviably logical mind. They have always been inspiring but my awe increases with every year. On New Year’s Eve, then, I decided that I would telephone them once a week, and that I would write down their story, which stretches between India in the 1920s, to the African present.
A couple of questions require explanation:
Why am I doing this in the form of a blog? Well, it will make me write something regularly. When faced with a substantial project and no target I have a tendency to procrastinate. Additionally, the family is scattered around the world and (take note, family), if they can comment on the blogs with their own memories, then a fuller picture will develop.
Why haven’t I written anything until November if this began in January? See my previous comment on procrastination. In my defence, since January we have moved to a new city, my husband and I have found new jobs, my daughter has started school and my toddler son has developed his impressive talent for escape and destruction.
Now, make a cup of tea, grab a Bourbon and read on.