Saturday, June 21, 2014

The English Papers I

In the right spirit

The English Papers I

On 28th April, an address I had been writing to in England came alive. It was an address, way out in Cornwall, at the Southern tip of England, where a lady I met in 1989 at the Osho Commune, Pune, lived. She and I had become friends instantly, while she was visiting India, both of us having common friends through whom we met. It is hard to bring back all the little things – and the big things we did for each other, during her stay in India. It is also impossible to describe the bonding we have between the two of us.

“I was probably the Maharaja of Kanker, married to an outrageous English lady, from the far west…” I had said once, ‘although you look much better in your own country than you look in mine!’

She had fallen into deep depression, there upon. India is so dear to her!

Jill Cadman and I are family. Over the seas and the air, the lands that part us, essentially we are deeply tied together as if we are sisters. The years between us, have never allowed the spirit that binds us, to come in between.

A little anxiety prone these days, she had waited long at the Heathrow Airport to pick me up, but was thrown in a fuzzy state of mind when she did not see me emerge even after half an hour had passed. I had walk out of the green channel, having nothing to declare, but got lost among the conveyer belts causing a delay in walking out of the airport. By the time we met, our nerves were a wreck but the sight of each other threw us both into each other’s arms and there we were off on the Underground, chatting away, as if there had not been a full ten years between us, when we had not met at all. We changed over to a bus, at some point and then, once again, we chatted and laughed so much, we missed our stop and had to walk back quite a distance, to arrive at Fiona’s where we were to spend two nights before we left for Cornwall. I had touched London in its raw at around 10 pm, that night of April, 25, 2014.

Jill’s life in Cornwall, is a busy one. Between her home, her children and her grandchildren, not to forget her friends, she has a hectic day, running around everywhere in her two-seater SMART Mercedes Benz. And in between she spends huge amount of time in what she calls her lifeline, her beautiful garden. 

Every one living in the countryside has a garden and this surely is the beauty of living where she does. As you enter, the garden smiles at you and the occasional guard at the garden, the lovely orange cat may throw herself over at your feet for a little scratch on the tummy.  

Our day ran like this: I woke at 5 am, did my meditation and had my coffee. Then I stared at nothing out of her window for long hours, till she woke, had a shower and a cuppa. By then, it was time for her daughter Suzie to call. A long conversation ensued, ending in a laugh and then a glutten free breakfast was on its way. I lay the table, while she prepared the protein rich breakfast, after which we set off sight seeing and meeting friends on the way. Sometimes we shopped at Tescos.

And on Wednesdays, we did something very special – we baby sat Elise, her youngest grand child.
I am so grateful for this time with Elise, who cried a little bit on her father’s shoulders, when she first met me, but soon overcame her shyness sharing with me games and stories we read together. Just four, delicate and pretty, she is now preparing to join in at the wedding of her parents, this September! 

“She too is getting married!” Suzie quipped, while I swallowed a laugh, well nigh a burst.

Indeed, three generations of women, one I had already met in India and followed to her country, the other two, the delightful little Elise, and her mother. I am so happy I went, because if I had not, I would not have met Suzie, about whom you will read in the soon to be published, The English Papers II.  

Some pictures from Windermere, Lake District

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