Tuesday, July 02, 2013

waiting for rain....need inspiration

 Been having great fun talking to my girlfriend via Viper...finally she has hit the modern world and has a smart phone [don't tell her kids she does not want them to know how savvy she is!] so we have been able to chat [almost continuously husbands might say ] as she gets to work it out and we can catch up on all those little things that amuse us.....the distance from here to there is one thing I have really missed over the years - this is so fun.
so here I am bragging/groaning how busy my desk is....
 my fruit shop
 breakfast with my tortoises
 my camel trying to eat the phone....
 and a new purse I have just stitched- cool hey?

Not everything the last week or so has been this rosy....
Some of it might just be the build up in pressure waiting for the rains, heat and what ever..
Our lovely friend Manju- the young lady on the left finally has a wedding date fixed. This is a happy time, she would like to be married, start a family...also extremely hard.
 Her Papa died many years ago, her brother, an alcoholic did nothing to look after the family and so Ma ran a tea shop to earn maney to feed them...we have know Manju 4 years gradually she has completely taken over that job as Ma has become too frail, she also stitches for us. They have no one to help them and yet she is the cheeriest person you could imagine...in the house was a handbag; we all joked about because that is where all the savings she had went to pay for her marriage.
Well last year the drinker finally had one sip too many and liver disease got him...in the process all her savings were spent on medical care.
She felt it her duty and did it...I was bloody angry - lazy bugger no work, no help to family and then consume their last resources as he dies. Not my place to mention this though, just be a supportive friend.
Now is a time of happiness....hiding a great sadness- Mum will be left alone, Manju has to move to her new family's home, her husband does not want to live in Manju's small home although they now have a separate room from her Mum's,  who will feed Ma... everyone is positive it will work out but I do wonder how? Manju is not certain her new family will allow her to work....
We are hanging around the edges keeping an eye on things... sharing her excitement and will help as needed.
Wandering if we can give her something towards food for the wedding [girls side always provides and the more people you can give a square meal to the better]
Should we pass the hat around? would anyone like to give a few dollars to make it an even more special day? I don't know..

 Our dear friend Nandu does block print work for us.....more hiccups I am afraid.
Quality of work can be variable- if she does it herself with full mind it can be good...if the eldest son does it, it can be rubbish...
When her husband died they had a very good busy- Ragwir was very good at his work...since then Nandi has struggled on almost alone- her baby Radhi was 6 days old when Ragwir died, the eldest boy Vijay nearly 18.
In India the son should step up and look after the family, no help from any other quarter. Hard- he was still a boy at school but reality....well 3 years later he is still doing the surely teenager thing...not helping much at all, wanting money, lost his job due to attitude and when saying he will pick up the printing doing rubbish work.
What to do, we don't have money to pay for rubbish, no client wants rubbish...had a big ...sadness and stress for me really...we need to look after our clients- she is our friend but needs to be responsible for quality.
Many tears at home, we think things have been sorted...I just took Vijay aside and really gave him a piece of my mind- re Mum, re us. Hopefully he will have an attitude adjustment.

 In all of this to protect our work and being able to offer blockprint we have been poking around town and found a new workshop where someone is starting up Block printing.
Salim, is keen and focused...he also does this dye work- procion dyes fixed with waterglass. I used to do this type of batching in Australia....it give a very colour fast result....
 These examples of his work are a bit bold for what we want but the skill is there, he is keen and talking the other day; intelligent and flexible in what he will have a go at...
quite excited by the prospect.
and the stressful stories go on....we saw Soni the other day Karlu's Mum: we have been supporting her and her 3 younger kids with monthly groceries since Karlu [aged 19] died suddenly last year.
We have always been very clear we expect the youngest 2 [ Anil -boy about 8 or 9 years old and Kabita- girl- about 13/14 years] to go to school.
Well Mum was telling us school did not want Kabita to go back...she had been unwell and lost her place....and now Kabita and the older sister Bhiaya would like to come work for us stitching.
I can understand a poor, poor, illiterate village women would be so far removed from what you could do with a bit of education to necessarily see it as important, but we do.
We have always tied it to the groceries...hoped to never be tested on it.
So we sweetly said - important 2 younger ones ARE IN SCHOOL and working at it...any problems with teachers getting her back in and we will go see teacher....
Makes me sad, it really could help her in her life. they don't read so would not see newspapers, too poor for a TV so really there is nowhere Mum would be exposed to modern ideas.
Got to follow this one up.
Then I started thinking of Bhiaya...she was very ill and has missed so much school, no way she will ever go again....she must 16 or 17 now
Some type of training would be good- something she could earn a few rupees from the future- what we pay for stitching work is much more that would ever be earnt at farm work; which is all she could do at the moment.
Actually they are farming cast so even imagining learning stitching is a good thing.....

tooo hot to be worrying over these things.....but we are here and they are presented to us.

ohh well back to sweating and wondering the best way forward....

No comments: