Search for Ursula Dyers

It was about fulfilling a promise. It was about having belief in people and the basic goodness of everyone. It was also about optimism, that defies logic most of the times. That is why I went to Cooks Town last Sunday, trying to locate Ursula Dyers.

In a previous post I had briefly mentioned about Ivan, the person we met at Connaught place, Delhi. He looked like any other beggar, with dirty clothes, a bandaged arm and eyes that looked like two deep pits, with the eyeballs planted deep inside the socket. Only when he started talking in English that we realized there is something different about this guy. So we asked him his story and he gave us one - a guy from Bangalore stuck in Delhi fighting some court case, too egoistic to inform his well settled kids about his plight, walking the streets, begging passerbys for food. Prolonged starvation and alcohol (not sure about that though) had some serious impact on his mental state. After much prodding and philosophy sessions, he gave us contact details of his sister living in Bangalore. We promised that we will try to get in touch with her and inform about his situation.

Ursula Dyers living in House # B9, Hutchins Road, Cooks Town, Bangalore. This was all the information we had about Ivan's sister. He had also mentioned an ITC factory in the vicinity. I thought that's enough data to locate a person in the city, and decided to give it a shot. So I reached Hutchins road by afternoon, only to find out that there are 10 different crosses along the road, each having about 10 houses on either sides. To add to the misery there were no house numbers starting with letters. I decided to ask people around, but most of them were suspicious about me and my intentions. That's not surprising as I didn't know the cross number, I didn't have a phone number to call the person I am searching for and worst of all I didn't even know the person I am looking for!! Later I found out that the place is famous for drugs and they might have thought that I was trying to buy or deliver "Stuff'.

Ivan's landmarks were right though.. there was an ITC factory nearby and the place had a considerable Anglo Indian population as well. I saw beautiful houses that belonged to the Decostas, the Mendezes, the Correas, the Demellos, the Perrieras... but no Dyers. I covered the crosses one by one and finally found out that the 10th cross has got three sections - A,B and C. I walked along the B section and located house number 9. For a moment I thought I made it, and knocked at the door. A middle aged lady opened the door and I was sure that she is Ursula Dyers... but she wasn't. She didn't know any Dyers and said that they've been living in that house for more than 30 years now. I didn't know what else to do, I had looked at the name plates of about 100 houses on either side of Hutchins road.

Then I saw a priest walking along the road and thought what better person to ask about the sheep than the shepherd himself. So I inquired about Ursula Dyers. Though he was the parish priest, he didn't know any Ursula or Dyers. Looks like the shepherds are not that close to the flock these days. As I moved on, I saw another elderly gentleman sitting by the street and feeding a stray dog. He had tattoos all over his forearms and wore a trendy T-shirt and shorts.. must have been quite a punk in his younger years!! We struck up a conversation and he said that the Dyers family are from Cochin, but could not guide me on where to locate them. I didn't have other options but go back home. As I was walking out of the layout, I came across the convent of the 'Ursulian Sisters', but it was also closed.

I had a good time walking around Cooks Town, enjoying the nice old houses with beautiful gardens and the Victorian architecture. There was a small chapel where the choir was practicing for the evening service. I don't know whether Ivan gave us the wrong address or it was my inability to locate the house, but somehow it didn't matter.

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