It’s been a very long two weeks. Since Manoj’s accident on the 16th, I have talked to surgeons at least ten times (surgeons are not easy to talk to). I have been in three different police stations and have met more cops than I can count. I have been to the lawyer’s office three times and I have spoken to him on the phone several times more. I’ve been to the hospital a dozen times. I’ve met with Manoj’s family and friends in corridors, in the ICU, in their homes, in the chemist’s shop and on the streets. I’ve met the man who caused the accident once and his friends and co-workers five or six times. I’ve even met two thugs he sent to negotiate on his behalf.
All these encounters have taken place in Hindi, adding a layer of complexity and tension to an already harrowing experience. Grief, fear, outrage, accusation and veiled threats are difficult enough as they are. Put them into another language and they grow heavier before your very eyes. By the end of each day, I am exhausted beyond words. But then there is the fundraising to do – because that’s my night job.
So this weekend, I’m taking off. I’m going to switch off my phone, lock the gate and wash windows. I want to do something mindless and mechanical with a definite beginning and a certain end. I want a task which is manageable and easy to understand:
Dirty windows. Hot soapy water. Rags.
Dip, wring, wipe.
Do it again.
I’ve been dealing with too many imponderables. I need something easy.
My phone is switched off. I’m washing windows.