One day, without any warning, Lucky told me that he would be leaving. He was going back to Sri Lanka where his wife was expecting a baby (how he ever managed to get her pregnant was a mystery, whichever way one looked at it) and that he was booked on a flight for Colombo the following week. I was distraught by this news and ever more aware of the precariousness of the ménage that I had so painstakingly created. Francesco was very attached to Lucky and had put all his trust in him. Now the fragile equilibrium of our family life was about to collapse. Where would I find at such short notice another helper as reliable and caring as he?
THE FOLLOWING DAYS proved very difficult. Francesco immediately showed stubborn hostility towards Lucky's first successor, Kamal, who had none of Lucky's patience and gentleness. One day Kamal carelessly let Francesco slip in the bathtub. This young man did not remain long and was followed by various others who stayed only for brief periods. I was starting to lose all hope of getting our life back on a normal track when one day Darshana came to the door. Tall, with an intelligent face, this young man had a natural and almost awe-inspiring elegance and I pondered for a quite a while on the wisdom of recruiting him. I wondered for how