He has been pestering Gehlu to let him go back to his auntie’s house since the moment he came into the orphanage. Why? He is six. At the orphanage, he has to go to school every day and is never allowed to step outside of the small courtyard at his home. In the afternoons, he had to sit with a tutor to catch up in school.
With his “auntie,” he runs through the streets with the other children and plays. Here he is playing tag on the sandy mounds across from Sugandha’s house, where I live. I can hear him laughing below my windows even now, as I write.
Gehlu had to let him go. He won’t force a child to live where he doesn’t want to. Also, once a kid states that he wants to leave he becomes a runaway risk. And if a child escapes from the orphanage and gets lost, the state gets very suspicious and makes it harder for the institution to help children who really want to be rescued.
I don’t know what will happen to Rupus now. Will he go to school? Will he be loved? He will probably not go to college. He is happier now. Will he be happier in the future? Hard to say. But now there is room for another child.
Nirmala very much wants us to bring her younger sister, who is three, to live with her and her sister, Krishala. (By the way, Krishala got her medicine today because Maria brought it over. She paid for it out of her own pocket.) There is also an even younger sister, Moinjana, who is 1 or 2, still at home with their mother in Dolaka. She sold or sent her older children into servitude after her husband, a drunkard, abandoned her. He had only stuck with her because he was so desperate for a son. After 10 daughters in a row, he left her.
Anura also has a brother, who is six, who is living somewhere. Today Gehlu asked him if she wanted him to come and live with her. She said she did. She likes it in the orphanage.