Robert.V, a blogger friend (2)

A school (called a foundling hospital) had been founded by a gentleman captain for children born out of wedlock whose parentage was not desirous of being disclosed. This school was financed by many great artists and musicians. There were many great names amongst the donors, the leading principal artist was William Hogarth. Indeed, no lesser than Handel, the great composer was a contributor. I can recall being brought up surrounded by many works of art hanging on the walls.

At six months of age I was taken from my mother and moved to the school. I was then given to a foster parent, a gigantic one-legged lady. Although, I never felt any love from this lady neither did I want for anything. Tragically, she passed away in the fifth year of my life and I was hurriedly removed back to the school. I was at that time suffering very badly with Bronchial Pneumonia and was kept for the next year in the infirmary until I could be moved into the school proper.

My first memories of the school always remain with me. Tall pillars in long colonnades seemed to be everywhere. The whole of this massive structure was contained in an extremely large fenced in area. I was later to find out these were massive sports facilities. The centre imposing piece was the chapel, imposing could never be enough to describe this magnificent building. Two low corridor-like buildings fronted with colonnades  led to a two floor wing on either side. I was later to learn one side for boys and the other girls. The masters/mistresses had rooms in the appropriate sides. The whole was a very much self-contained estate. There were even gardens where vegetables were grown and even chickens (a few pigs I much later found out) kept, so it was a very self-sufficient place. To a very small boy this was home.

I have to be honest and say I cannot recall true unhappiness, the word would have seemed to bear no description. We, the children were family. We none of us had any knowledge of our beginnings. We were given a name and a start in life. This was our home, we were brothers and sisters, although we were never to meet the sisters upon pain of death, apparently. We were well clothed and there was always sufficient food, not always to everyone’s liking.

Dear Lakshmi
I am hoping that none of this shocks you. England, the green and pleasant land has many a dark place hidden within. The same can be said, I feel, of any country. Most though have no pretence of being leaders into the brighter future.
This is the first of many parts, the second will be a couple of days away. Kiki is always asking me for more. She is a lovely lady, again in such a different world and culture.
My regards to your father, he is a good man.

Dear Robert,

As you have said there are dark places everywhere. What I really appreciate is your learning to use the internet and sharing some of your thoughts on Cowbird. You are getting treatment for cancer but still you are willing to share something about your life with me and Kiki. I am saying this because many people of my age, I am 52, say that they do not want to learn anything about the internet, it is too difficult and so on. I feel very sad when people do not have interest in learning new things. Maybe they are interested in other things. But in this age I feel people should know at least the basics of the internet. 

Yes, I too like Kiki and what she writes. She has this eye problem called retinitis Pigmentosa, my son has the same problem. He has had it from birth. But in spite of all problems, he is now doing his PhD in English Literature in one of the leading Universities of India, University of English and foreign Languages. I had told her about this and have that connection. All of us have our problems in Life and I believe it all depends on how we face those problems.

Once again thank you for sharing and I am looking forward for more.
With regards,

( 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. I used to go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. Covid-19 has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. Hopefully I will be able to go there again. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.


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