I stood this evening and watched the life in the ten storied apartment that faces our hotel in Pune. Very few curtains were drawn and I wasn’t sure if I breached any etiquette by looking at their lives. The lady in the apartment directly opposite our room who cleaned her kitchen every night was there tonight too. I wondered who lived with her and why they never helped. Televisions were on in many rooms, couples sat on couches, in many houses fans whirring wearily from the ceilings. The monsoons are almost here in this city. I can feel the promise in the wind. The dampness in the air.
I am tired this evening. The logistics of settling us down here have been mind numbing. A friend who was in the writing workshop with me and has two published books to her name called up some friends she knew and I had some virtual hand holding. I needed it so I could hold my family’s hand. This was my country, I wanted so badly for them to love it the way I did and every day the logistics fray away at my optimism. This community of women friends is growing out largely from the UEA writing workshop in Kolkata and it is something I missed in my life in America. It seems that women here somehow have more time to support each other even if they hold full time jobs, write books or have children and families they care for. The landlord’s wife came to help me set up the television, find a cleaner and even arranged to have supplies sent over to the house, the head of HR in my husband’s company accompanied me to the market place so I could avoid the malls and buy kitchen utensils at cheaper prices, my writer- friend’s friend spent a lot of time on the phone with me to see in what ways she could help. And so as I stood this evening gazing out at the road in front of this hotel, I think back to this women and feel a moment of gratitude. I am a story teller and India is full of stories. For now though I must acknowledge that I am tired and must rest. Tomorrow we move into our house.