As Ram’s mother predicted, once educated her sons did leave the village, Late Elder Brother to Patna and Ram to the USA. Although Ram Singar was in Patna, he did maintain ties with the village and managed the farm and sharecroppers from Patna. At the request of his wife he built a home there and they did spend time there. Unfortunately his wife suffered a stroke, became wheelchair bound and was no longer able to live there. Ram remained in the USA telling his brother to take his share of the land and do with it as he saw fit. After his brother’s death the management of the property has fallen largely to Bahurani Purnima as her husband is busy with his work and has no time for Rahmatpur. It appears the Singh family has slowly lost control. The patriarchal society has no regard for female management making things difficult for Bahurani Purnima.
The house has fallen into neglect, the wiring and light fixtures have been stolen. It has become painfully event that the Singh family no longer wields the presence it once did. Though the servants had several weeks’ notice, the house was not made ready. There was a mad scramble to get things done after we arrived. There have been no records kept as to how much crops were sold for. Apparently the foreman was taking bribes for the villagers for the privilege of sharecropping our fields. We found that another cousin had gained access to the house and made it look like a school in order to receive government monies. No classes were ever held there except on the day of inspection. We found a squatter’s newly built house on our field. With the blessing of our son and Bahurani Purnima, Ram will visit frequently and help reestablish our presence.
The foreman originally hired my husband forty years ago has been fired and a temporary foreman installed. He is already busy getting things done. He will see that a water pump is placed on the old home site so that we have water access when we visit. We carried drinking water with us from Patna. This will benefit the other villagers as well.
|Ram standing on the front porch of his late brother's home|