I planned three meetings for today. It would be impossible to go to three meetings in a day – I should mention that the time set for all these meetings was “morning time” – but any plan has at least a 50% chance of being canceled, which would have left me with 1 and a half meetings, tops. I can cancel or postpone half a meeting no problem.
Last night, I called up the first potential meetee. Turns out he’s out of town until the 22nd.
This morning, I called up the second possibility. Well, I called one of his co-workers. He hasn’t been present at work any of the days I’ve called, which have been all the days of this week. He wasn’t there today either. The third possibility, though, she was ready. She was going. She even mentioned a time, and I was gathering all my things to walk out the door when she called me back to cancel.
That particular office is on the campus of Osmania University, where all the agitation in Hyderabad to create a Telangana state was centered. The office of the Andhra Mahila Sabha stores a set of traditional wooden puppets which I really want to see. Last I heard, the “Andhra” on their sign had been torn away and replaced with “Telangana”. There was absolutely no way of getting in there until this week, when the campus was re-opened. Until today, when the police have barricaded it off again.
Maybe 50% isn’t quite accurate in this city.
Yesterday, however, I picked up 4 boxes of books sent by the JJ Metta Memorial Foundation in Washington, DC, via the “diplomatic pouch” which landed them one by one at the US Consulate in Hyderabad. They’re headed for Sphoorti, where a library is in the works! The show began with a shelving unit-worth of books tucked into the margins of the shipping crates a family was using to move to India.
On Tuesday, we paid a visit to Manchi Pustakam (Good Book), a local public trust that publishes wonderful storybooks with bilingual text in Telugu and English, and distributes them with equally wonderful intent. By the time I arrived home toting an intermezzo of those, I had gotten a critical message from the US Consulate about the book box quartet waiting in the wings –
So today, I have a polyphonic ensemble of books stacked in my room, waiting for the end of exams to take up residence at Sphoorti. There’s about a 50% chance I’ll do the same thing.