Shalom Israel lives in Calcutta, but he is immigrating to Israel. He tries to pray every day. Sometimes it doesn't happen before noon, "like it should", he says, but he makes an effort.
"You should have seen this place before Shalom moved in. Filled with bottles and broken glass and trash. He made it a home", says Mitana, shalom's younger sister. She, along with their mother, are staying in Calcutta where they live together.
Mitana and Shalom are very close. The closer moving day arrived, the more visibly upset Mitana became. "I just can't believe i won't be able to see him in person anymore".
Shalom observes the movers taking the majority of his furniture away. Many of the pieces he fixed up himself over several years time.
There are many reasons for Shalom's decision to leave. It was prompted ultimately by years of feuds within the small Jewish community of Kolkata, and Shalom said he was finally fed up. It helps, too, that his girlfriend, an old family friend, lives in Israel. They speak several times a day and she came to India for several months this year.
Shalom doesn't read Hebrew, but he knows most of the prayers. When he gets to Israel, he will take an intensive class. He has friends to ask here, if he doesn't know the full prayer, and "worst comes to worst," he says, "I can always check the internet".
Shalom's sister Mitana says goodbye to Shalom's dog Mufasa. Shalom had to find a new home for his dog before leaving for Israel.
Mitana contemplates Shalom leaving. When asked how she is handling his move, she often breaks into tears and looks away. "I can't imagine him not being here".
The family takes Mufasa, the dog, to a home that takes care of elderly homeless from the city. It is an hour outside of Calcutta.
Shalom hires family and other helpers to help him clean out his small two room house that he has filled with collectibles and antiques, most of which he will have to sell or give away.
"I'm moving from a house to a suitcase," says Shalom. "It's a lot of work." Shalom is giving away or seling most of his belongings. What will he take with him? "Mostly spices, cooking sauces, and wine", he says. An avid cook, he wants to make sure he has the flavors of India in his new home.