A Garden Altercation

Saturday 31 May, 2003

I couldn’t get to sleep last night because of thoughts about Kuldip’s assault on me, yesterday. Karaj told me that if I hadn’t challenged him, then I would have fucked the space up today and it would have seemed like my fault when all the time it had been Kuldip. That’s why it is important to protect myself.

In the first of many sessions today, Kuldip was challenged by Karaj. His response was ‘I’ll be out of the flat (Simran’s) by tonight’. This childish attitude brought a physical action from Karaj as he leapt Nijinsky-like over the table and confronted Kuldip in order for him to have half a chance of realising the severity of his attitude.

We needed to do some physical work after that, so we dismantled the shed in the sunken garden. I was conscious that the first hour is difficult and I need to look after myself. Then Karaj appeared and said things were moving too slowly so I speeded up, only for Karaj to tell me to ‘Relax, you’re too excited.’ I am fine tuning my approach to work: slow, slow; fast, fast.

As we erected the shed anew in Shona’s garden, Karaj and I had a healthy discussion about verbalising what he wanted me to do. He had shouted at me because he thought Dev was with me, but I stood my ground saying I was using my time to get on with work and that if he needed me he should say so. There was no challenge and the issue was resolved without any fuss. There was a level of emotion in me which still needs attention, but there was clarity there too. Again, it is about fine tuning for me. Go with the the clarity and forget the emotion.

Fixed two panels into the far corner of the sunken garden. Worked with Michelle, Ishwar and Calvin. They were a little sleepy to begin with but provided good support and in the end a tricky job was achieved with the minimum of fuss. During a feedback break, I felt tired and said I have about an hour left in me. Karaj responded by saying: ‘In that case we’ll work for another three hours.’ And we did.

We dug the trench and put four panels into place in front of the three Divali panels in the sunken garden. The digging woke me up. I have sweated very well today and have kept going. When Kuldip fucked around once too often Karaj squared up to him. Kuldip steadied himself to retaliate and I instinctively dived in, with my left arm cocked, and shouted at Kuldip: ‘Don’t you fucking hit him!’ The scene eventually calmed and Kuldip worked well as we bolted the panels together and put them in place.

Karaj, Dev and I changed the wheel on Shona’s car. Shona had come and remonstrated unnecessarily with Karaj about the wheel. He later said that, once again, a woman had bashed him up for what he was doing with Kuldip; even though Shona had not been witness to the event itself. Last time it had been Karaj’s mum who had told him to stop shouting at Kuldip. It seems that women rescue Kuldip wherever he goes. I know from experience that this is far from healthy.

Supervision with Karaj, Dev, Kuldip, Michelle, Ishwar and Calvin. Kuldip told us that the only thing he had heard during his altercation with Karaj had been my words. They had woken him up and he saw how, throughout his life, he has acted as a peacemaker with various members of his family. We returned to the garden, sorting out the frame on C3. By this time I was in a great deal of pain with my groin (too much activity and it tends to give up). I verbalised this to Karaj who was aware of it anyway and kept on going. Simran had joined us by this time and withing minutes of getting involved he had broken a drill bit and the screwdriver bit. Negativity.

Another supervision session. We talked about absent fathers and how Kuldip, Dev and Simran cannot relate to Karaj’s authority. They cannot follow instructions because they were not able to relate to their fathers in the normal way, and their fathers are no longer around to be able to do anything about it. Again, this was followed by another stint in the garden. We sorted out the frame on C3 . Took away the remaining ceiling jack and put the side frame together so that it looks nice for tomorrow. Ishwar and Michelle washed the newly-enlarged sunken garden. It looks lovely.

Shona joined us for the final supervision. I talked about the incident with Kuldip. My instinctive response was not fuelled by wanting to protect Karaj. It came from an unshakeable belief in what we do here and how, if Kuldip would only give up his position and surrender, he will grow. Moreover, my actions and words were motivated by wanting to get the point across to Kuldip that he can get well here but that, if he gives this up and throws in the towel, he is a fucking idiot.

Shona made her position clear that violence is unnecessary, but I agree with Karaj that, as a last resort, it is wholly necessary and, having witnessed Kuldip’s stupidity in the face of a wealth of love and support, how else is one supposed to get the point across? We also dealt with Ishwar’s duty memo and translated more of Simran’s letter to his sister.

Summary: Another long day. More cleansing work in the garden. I am just getting on with what I do. I still get emotional when I personalise things but it is getting less and less. There is so much going on here at the moment. I’m glad I’m awake enough to make so much of the experience.


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