Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Losing oneself in Leh

When do you know when to draw the line? Is there a line to draw? When do you make the decision to discard, to abandon? Do you have to continually tell yourself that you are responsible for your children, even when they are no longer children but of an age that they can have children of their own?

Sam got another call. Three weeks from the time we received the first, telling us that 'all was not well.' Ragesh had sent a text to James, a friend common to both Zach and Sam. A producer who had worked extensively with Zach; who had visited him on psychiatric wards and who had once taken him in a child's plastic ukele. 'Anything,' he said, 'that will give Zach some kind of focus...' It was a charming gesture. I wonder what happened to that ukele.

How on earth did James get this text? Obviously in some kind of 'sane' moment Zach imparted this bit of knowledge. 'Zach's literally living on the streets,' Ragesh told Sam in heavily accented English. 'I've been giving him food. He's got nothing. No belongings. No food. No water. No phone, nothing... He's very bad.'

Zach's been arrested three times and released. The police still have his passport but Zach's inaccessible, in a kingdom somewhere in the Himalayas. It takes five days by bus or jeep to get to Delhi. Sam arranged to send some money to Ragesh, to pay for the food that he's been supplying but the money hasn't been collected yet. Ragesh sent an email. No one is interested in allowing Zach comfort he said. They won't open their doors to him. He's far too grandiosely manic for them.

Now the Embassy are on to it. For a change. 'Your son has had an interesting life,' mentioned the High Commissioner in New Delhi. I told him in a further email that yes, that's quite true, but that I had already written the book. They're trying to work out how to get him to Dehli to a psychiatric hospital. Five days by road but an hour by plane. However, no plane will want to take him. Rickey has offered his services again.

Ragesh was pretty plain in what he feels should happen. ' You must come and take your son, otherwise you will 'lose' him...' So where do we go from here? Is he not lost already?


Anonymous said...

hey ros.
I deleted facebook, making a new start when I came back to Toronto, but always reading your posts with interest and empathy.
my email is sneakermusic@hotmail.com

best wishes

Ros Morris said...

Hithere M,

Thanks so much for getting in touch. Hope that things have improved for you. It was so nice to see you. I'll be in touch by email.

Not too good there, as you can see...