Monday, March 29, 2010

Of Caving Beds and Bug-Eyed Shades

You’re not bound to sleep much when part of your bed is caving in. Such was the case for me this morning, as a result of which I woke up with a sore upper back. We really need to do something about this bed. Nandram has agreed to build a new charpai, but we need to let him know in advance.

The problem with “advance” in this country is that no such thing exists. We were supposed to meet Chunnilal at 10 am in Baneda to speak with the BDO (Block Development Officer) about the list of widows registered as pension-receivers. However, when we reached Baneda Chunnilal told us he’d have the list by evening through one of his “men”. We weren’t meeting the BDO after all.

The day was spent in Bhilwara. Our to do list: obtain scooter’s registration, buy safety helmets, and equip ourselves with sunglasses. It just so happens that 90% of all the shades we saw were wider than my face. What makes matters worse is the current trend circulating in the ladies’ sunglasses circle – lenses that cover half of one’s face. I find this fashion odd, not quite understanding why any female in her right mind would consciously choose to look like a bug. Those circular, enlarged frames reminded me of the fruit flies I used to work with in high school. Thankfully, I finally found (with Nikhil’s fashion-driven assistance) a decent pair of aviators. Little did we know that sunglass shopping would be the lone success for the day.

Vehicle registration consisted of much driving, asking for directions, finding the old office, being told to go to the new office, and finally being informed that nobody was there. March 31 marks the end of the financial year. Everyone, including vehicle registrators, were too busy wrapping up their procrastinated accounts. Helmet shopping suffered a similar fate; We did find people willing to sell helmets, but they were either black or too large for my unusually small head. An easily visible (think: brightly colored) helmet seemed impossible to find.

Hours of driving with no fruitful result only intensified our hunger. We spotted a parantha dhaba and gorged on the breads stuffed with cheese, potato, and onion. That made me happy.

The plan for tomorrow:
1. Create a final list of widows supposedly receiving pension.
2. Start a house-to-house survey, collecting data on the makeup of each family. This will help confirm the details from #1.
3. Plan a meeting with the children. When we suggested the idea to them, they expressed great enthusiasm.


  1. Congrats for your first brand new scooter. Now you can zoom zoom all you want!! I am sure with your and Nikhil's patience and persistence, things will be done. Might take longer though. Take care of yourself and dont stay out in the heat too long.

  2. Did you get a new charpai or got this one fixed?

  3. still laughing at the sunglasses story! Good luck my dear!!!