Growing up in Bombay, India, was an experience that could be compressed in a couple of lines:
I grew up sheltered within the gates of a compound that offered no "novelties," secure in the quotidian life of those who needn't have labored among the rest of the Indians, most of whom strived so to make a living!
In those days we had a "bonghi," (I am not certain of the spelling) who was the grounds caretaker, and whose duty it was to come into every apartment of the three 3-storey apartment buildings, 4 to a floor, if I am not mistaken, to clean the toilets.
Here we had two maids who doubled, one as a cook (my nanny, my beloved Filomena!) and the other as a housekeeper (my brother's nanny, Lourdinha), but, NEITHER'S JOB IT WAS TO CLEAN THE TOILET! Too menial a task given only to the "least" of the people, to my dear "bonghi," whom I loved! This may have even been his name, Bonghi, which I have seen as such! I don't remember!
I remember him to have a son perhaps a little younger than me, whom I only remember always barefoot, and had been told since he was from the lowest of Indian castes, this to be his legacy through life, he would pass on... and on... and on.
I am told now by my dear Jithin, who lives in Southern India, that it is no longer like this!
Dr. Tatagiri Gurappa MD -
Have you ever missed a meal, maybe more then one? What if you missed every meal for days while sleeping on the ground. Now we aren't describing a homeless man, we're describing the home and life of a man whose story we are about to tell. That kind of hardship would destroy some people, but he endured because his heart and mind and life were unshackled. More true stories http://www.pgm.org
Pacific Garden Mission UNSHACKLED www.unshackled.org program #2,513