Renu's Week

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Report of 2 Nov '09

Hello from the Banyan -

The flower display - in a wide flower pot of water - has been replaced and looks lovely. I have eaten my 2nd breakfast and feel fortunate to be able to do that, especially when I have walked through the open-air slum this morning: the children ran about and played happily, but it was evident to me that there was no food in their bellies. You know something, though - that did not diminish their happy play any.

The Banyan has been doing well. Our health care workers (hcw's) are getting trained weekly. These young women are from very impoverished families in the villages around, and are great joys. I like interactions with them, and consider the work they do - be around the mentally ill residents 24/7 - to be very important. These employees are given room and board, which is a big bonus in our expensive city, so they get to save almost all their salary and send it home. They live in Adaikalam, so can't be too far away from the residents. Last week's training was on heart attacks, and was a raucous, interactive affair. I took some sweets that Naren had made, and the hcw's enjoyed them; I was then asked if I was grooming my sons for matrimony and I said, most certainly, I want my daughters-in-law to be grateful that these characters cook.

One of the social workers has just returned from a "rehab" trip - taken the well-recovered and functional residents back to their families, this time in North India, long train rides away. One of the patients, Ms. M, is a very attractive and personable lady. I found out from the social worker that on arrival at her far-off village, her mother had stated she did not want Ms. M back, and the team had no choice but to return with Ms. M to Adaikalam. Ms. M had, naturally, been disappointed but had recovered in spirit. I was very sorry to hear this story, that this patient's family had spurned her. How fortunate are those of us to whom this does not happen.

Some great times last week. There was a concert to promote climate change, organised by hordes of young people, and hosted by Naren and a young schoolgirl named Manavi. The music was good, and the info presented in a very good way, accompanied by yells of "We love you, Naren!" Navin came to the event with 5 girls. Yesterday was the complex's talent show, and the boys did not sing at all well, but ripped the stage dancing to a Tamil song - "Naaku Mukka." After the event, several neighbors said they were surprised to see half-White kids dancing to a filmi song, and with perfect Tamilian steps. It was great; we cannot listen to music without heads bobbing - or getting up and tearing the floor up.

We had a bunch of friends and neighbors over for "High tea," and Scott and I cooked the food together with the boys. It was a fun time, and the boys got lots of accolades for their parts in the cuisine.

Our cook's neighbor, Ms. K, has been taking her husband, Mr. P, regularly for reviews with the Banyan psychiatrist. Mr. P is back on his anti-psychotic meds and is slowly getting to functionality. This has apparently energized the other neighbors, who are now sending consultations to me through our cook. Works for me: medical attention in any form, if necessary, should be within reach of all.

Unw -



  • Glad to hear how things are going for you in a more holistic perspective!
    We always like to know the family gossip!
    Laurence and Liz

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15/11/09 12:26 AM  

  • Hey L and L -

    Where are both of you?!


    By Blogger Renu Weiss, at 12/1/10 9:49 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home