TODAY I PROUDLY WEAR THE RED
of a Luxmi prayer string. Purported to aid good health, physically and mentally and bring prosperity - these are not the reasons I shall wear it until it finally breaks and falls off.
I thought she had forgotten- but no, she drove all the way out here after making her prayers and tied it on to my scrawny old wrist herself.
It must have been the early nineties (yikes! I can remember it like yesterday) New neighbours had moved in one door down and the tiny wife was labouring away with a rake in the garden. I went down to introduce myself and met Alan, a Yorkshireman with an accent so broad I could hardly understand a word he said. And Rajie, a tiny tamil lady whose size belied her huge spirit and vivaciousness.
We became good friends and many was the time Alan had to steer me home after i'd overdone the conviviality and Smirnofs.
After my DroneMaster moved in, and the terrible thing with the gun, Alan and Rajie moved away and for a long while we lost touch.
Happily I have since picked up the threads only to discover that Raj has been through a very similar torment to mine. Coincidence? I tend to think not....
Meanwhile it will probably now be our mutual love of books that will ensure we dont lose touch ever again.