Yesterday we went to Sittilingi and started talking house plans with A&K. Our last visit to discuss this was in Jan 2008, and things havent moved since then. So it was really good that we made the trip. Ammachi, S & M came too! We took Mollykochamma’s bananas there, and brought back bananas from Sittilingi! And to top it all, Dulari brought us some superb banana cake for her birthday.
Speaking of birthdays, we have 2 special ones coming up. For kunchayan, we have made a book of spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Thanks to Guru, we have it on CD from tape, and a neatly handwritten book (another story on how long its been since I sat at a table with good light and wrote neatly with an ink pen!). So I was in charge of getting it cut and bound. Walked up to the corner, and was distracted by speaking to R on the phone. And when I finally stopped talking, there was no one in the book binding shop. Or atleast, I couldnt see anyone. I looked around, the customers in the next shop were busy arguing with the owner who I couldnt see, and I was just setting out to cross over the benches, when I noticed a hand sticking out from over a stool under a table. And there under the table, sleeping with his head on the stool was the book binding man!
So I woke him up, and asked if he could cut and punch holes into my neat papers. He grumbled endlessly and told me to come back later. So I said, “No, I’ll just sit here and wait”. He grumbled ever more, obviously he could not sleep in peace if I was sitting and staring at him. So he grabbed my papers and stomped off into the inner room. The cutting machine had all kinds of levers, and turn tables and it did look like tiring work (nb: my papers were A5 and a tiny bunch). He grumbled about people who dont listen to him (meaning me, since I preferred to wait rather than go away and come back later), customers who ask him to make a thousand copies in a day (obviously not me), how tired he was, how no one understood his troubles. Dont we all feel like this some days…
He didnt have a punch (so he said) and stapled the book together for me (will have to cover up the staples with more handmade paper now) and then refused to take any money from me. All the while, listening to his complaining, I was already feeling rather more sympathetic to him, and then he refused to let me pay. I didnt argue much, as he obviously wanted me to leave so he could go back to sleep. On the road, there was a old fruitseller man, from whom I bought (yes, you guessed it) bananas. By the time I walked back to the shop, bookbinder was already fast alseep. I quietly left the banana’s on the bench for him, and walked away – may he feel better after eating them. And of course, sleep can do wonders too!
Time to go and get the cover of the book complete now, so more about the 2nd birthday present later!
Here is the only photo we took on the sittilingi trip – I forgot that we had a camera (and of course, there were much more interesting things to do and people to meet!). I was just singing some relevant john denver, when amma shouted – rainbows! and sure enough, there were two!!