Robert V, a blogger friend.(1)

Blogging is a very nice and important part of my life. My blogger friends live in different parts of the world.  Their lives are so different from mine but there is a sameness too. I feel as if I know them. I blogged in Cowbird.com from 2012 to 2017. It closed down but fortunately we were given time to download our posts. Even now we can read the blogs.
I met Robert on Cowbird platform.  He lived somewhere in England.  He too was blogging from 2012. He was 78 then. Sometime in August 2014, he was diagnosed with throat cancer.  He was very courageous and continued to post his positive thoughts till he could. After he stopped posting, we exchanged mails. I forwarded to him my Slice of life posts which were letters written to my Doddamma.  He wrote  two mails about his early life to Kiki and me. He had shared them in his blog posts too.
I last heard from him on 6th March 2018.

A few days ago I remembered him when I was reading Roman Tales, A Readers Guide to the Art of Microhistory by Thomas Cohen. Microhistory fascinates me because it deals with individuals and their everyday life. We usually read about kings, empire builders and people with wealth and power. I feel it is important to know about the everyday day life of common people.

I asked Kiki Suarez if it was okay for me to write about Robert. She said she too had written about him, but in Spanish.

4th March 2014

Dear Kiki,

I cannot remember at any time in my life receiving a gift, birthdays, Christmas etc have always passed me by until the last twelve months. Your gift to me is truly amazing and touches me deeply. I am not used to giving a profusion of thanks to anyone never having been in a position where it has been necessary. I have always, until the last two years, avoided making a really close friendship. I did once and it caused me great pain, which I still feel at times today.

I was born not out of love, but out of a man’s desire for lust. My mother, whom I shall always regret never having met, was a chambermaid on a large estate. She started working there at the age of twelve due in the main to her father having a small tied cottage on the estate. He was a jobbing gardener who had himself started working there at a very young age. It was family tradition handed down over generations, to work and live on the estate. Their whole lives were within the confines of the estate, there being no need to leave unless their services were no longer required. They were always treated fairly but of course they were always servants and therefore always at the behest of their master or indeed mistress, whether or not the espoused of the master.

At the tender age of fifteen, my mother in carrying out the duties of chambermaid was bedded by one of the sons of the household and subsequently became pregnant. Her father, gaining knowledge of this went ‘cap in hand’ to the master and apologized to the master that one of his,(my grandfathers) daughters had unfortunately in the course of her work become pregnant, with child.

The upshot of this was that my grandfather was given the cottage for life, with a very small pension. My mother at six months of her pregnancy was shipped away to the local poorhouse to have her child. Arrangements were then put into place for disposing of the child, little me.

( to be continued)

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. Due to the pandemic I could not go to the Home for the mentally challenged for two years. I had been going there since 2011. I have started going again. I was happy that some members remembered me :) All of them are an important part of my life. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made our lives richer.

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