My phone does not stop ringing. In the evenings, I have visitors. I feel blessed in a way that family, friends care for me. Lolo says I have become a star and that I get more phone calls than him. I tell him that in India, if a neighbour does not call on you if there is a news of ill health or suffering in the family, you wonder why the person has not turned up. It is unusual for people not ask about the other.
Such is the common participation in grief or joy that anyone from far and near will come and partake. When my friend Natasha's grandmother passed away, she found herself over-working in the kitchen catering to all the guests who had come. When she went to look for her two new helpers, she found them standing amid the crowd. They were busy crying.
This cultural thing, is very amusing to Lolo. Here people are so worried about intruding on the other's privacy that even if they are near your door, they will first call up and ask if it is Ok to drop by. I am not used to that, of course. I come from a place where even strangers inquire about my marital or single status. I was used to capsulating my life's biography just anywhere.
And so when the hospital's social worker asked me if we needed any kind of support system, Lolo was quick to answer, "Oh she has a whole network."
While I do love so many things about this country, I am disappointed that people are so driven by political correctness, politeness and so on, that they veil their emotions even at times when it is needed. We are all humans, after all, irrespective of where we are placed and we go through the same gamut of emotions. What is life without human contact, that sharing of emotions - a few laughs, a few chit chats, a few cuppa teas exchanged over dreary routine.
My neighbour Tracy has no inkling of what is going on in my life. But she is a busy single mother. My other neighbour, Lynn, is the equivalent of Usha didi back in Delhi. I leave my keys with her and she runs a few errands for me. I guess, she is not caught in a mechanical life. The answer boils down to Time. Nobody has the time here. But why am I complaining. I just got two more calls in the past one hour.