Even though we were poor, at the lowest level, even below the lowest economic level, we were always excited. It was rich in the sense that we had a lot to look up to, to look forward to, a lot to aspire to, a lot to dream about. But in economic circumstances it was desperate. It was Calcutta with rain. At least they’re warm in Calcutta. But it was desperate because of certain things, ingredients like my father being an alcoholic, my mother having too many babies in too short a time, no work available in Ireland, and even when my father did get a job he drank the wages. Then there was the harsh kind of schooling we had with school masters who ruled with a stick and then because of the overwhelming presence of the church, which imbued us with fear all the time. So it was fear, dampness, poverty, alcoholism, fear of the church, fear of the school masters, fear in general. But at the same time when we got out of school, when we were away from the church, when we were out of the house, we were on the streets and we were always excited. And when you have nothing little things become very precious, like books. There was an occasional book that came into our house and we just devoured it. In that sense it was very rich.