Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Of New Madamji, Punctures, and Cracked Spectacles

Life is back on track, because NREGA work doesn't continue till 2 pm. This means the literacy classroom is once again under the neem tree. Unfortunately, the women seem to have taken a step back as far as enthusiasm goes; they just sleep or quietly chat while a flock of teenage girls surround us, ready to learn. The younger generation's motivation to read books and learn letters is a consolation, but I'm still disappointed that the women lost interest.

Even in our night classes the attendance dwindled. The few that do show up are a dedicated bunch, writing and reading with the utmost concentration. Occasionally Shanti Bai shows up, only to practice writing her own name (which she mastered a long time ago). It's official: Madamji and Nikhil are no longer exotic enough to gawk at. The new Madamji, however, is still a novelty. Mammi volunteered to help teach at night, slowly dictating sentences to Jasodha.

On our evening trip to Baneda, the front tire started deflating quickly. The mechanic in Baneda showed Nikhil a puncture in the inner rubber tube of the tire. For Rs. 15 he patched up the hole. Meanwhile, I stocked up on lemons, tomatoes, mangoes, onions, and potatoes for the next two days. With Ma's cooking in full force our fruit/veggie usage has multiplied three-fold. The last item on our shopping list was contact solution. None of the Baneda chemist shops had it. Across from the government hospital the pharmacy ordered it for tomorrow. A few weeks back Nikhil accidentally stepped on my glasses, creating a crevice that ran down the whole frame. Let's hope the solution comes in tomorrow so I won't be walking around with my cracked frame.

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