They follow my trail

Thursday, 18 April 2013



Recently a colleague asked when I found time to write. I mentally smirked realising that she hadn’t checked the date on my post. It was eons ago. Nevertheless she had enjoyed the post and re-reading it, I realised that I had enjoyed writing it. Does this mean that I am back to blogging regularly? Not sure about that.

I have moved on. No, not away from Ire but into a new house that affords me more storage space! Yes, it is exactly four minutes and 26 seconds away from where I lived previously. I have no remorse leaving behind the old. This is my new mantra of sorts, making peace with what I have and not should have been and should have had.

Anyways back to why I am writing here. Two things happened in the recent past and got me thinking (believe you have no idea how many things I just brush away! :P).

First, my previous maid suddenly disappeared one day. She never turned up for work two days in a row. A very happy husband exclaimed, “jaan chhooti” but hey who was going to do the dishes? This made him ask the landlords who informed a little too late that she had fought with her husband. That’s it? That terrible woman had left me in a lurch! What with office work, cooking and now cleaning the house too? I would have to do it all. This was my reaction.

Three days later she turns up and entered smiling shyly. I mentally thanked my lucky stars and questioned her where she had been. She first said she wasn’t well. To this, losing my patience, I said that a silly fight with the husband is no reason to bunk work. No reaction from so I let it go. However, in a minute she spilled the entire story.

Her husband was a drunk and a wife beater. They had fought over some petty issues and he had hit her. The beating got out of hand so her brother had to intervene. They registered a police complaint as well. This caused her husband to throw her out and their five children. It took her two days to recover and move into a smaller house closer to her brother’s place. The husband hadn’t called or apologised.

I was a little embarrassed with my earlier behaviour and offered her tea. Two days later she announced that she was moving back. My loud ‘why’ interrupted her smile so lowering her gaze she replied, “My elder daughter is very attached to her father. She went back the next day. How do I leave her alone with him? The world is not good enough for a young girl to live alone with a man. Plus, he is a drunk and a man who drinks doesn’t see any difference between a woman and a daughter when he is intoxicated.”

I don’t think I reacted for a few seconds. My maid did not trust her husband; her children’s father with their daughter. The very idea her thoughts painted had me dizzy and made me want to throw. She and I did not discuss this again.

My new landlady was kind enough to make sure we had a maid before we settled in. This is how I met Jasmine. When I was expecting a lady to walk in, I was surprised to open the door to a little girl. With a nervous smile she came in early in the morning and went on how she wanted badly to work for us. However, hubby and I had our suspicions – we did not want to hire an underage girl.

Day 2 – when I asked Jasmine how old she was, she quickly replied she wouldn’t know. Rubbishing her answer I asked how could that be possible and she was like I came here when I was very little. Only my mom who is in the village can really tell you how old I am. We dropped it for the day.

Day 3 – we had to settle how much we would pay her so I asked if her didi would drop by so that we could discuss. Again, she was quick to reply that her did was busy and I could pay her whatever I deemed fit.
It has been a week. My questions have stopped. School, education, food, her village etc. she always gave me random answers which won’t add up. So we have dropped it altogether. Don’t know if it is right on my part to let her continue. If I ask her to leave, landlady might throw her out as well.

What would you do in a situation like this?

14 comments:

Raj said...

about the girl, let her work.

the reason child labour was abolished, was because 10 year old's had been forced to work in dangerous factories.

as for a girl doing the dishes, why pose a moral dilemma for yourself?

as for the older maid, its things like those that make us realize how uneducated we are. being well the cream of the country, how do we know what happens where the water and the milk mix?

Swati Dwivedi said...

How about making her read/write? Add more to her life than, 'I don't know' ?

Nikita Banerjee Bhagat said...

@Raj

I agree to your point.

About where water and milk mix, sometimes it is just out there in the open. We simply refuse to see it. Just like I brushed it off.

Nikita Banerjee Bhagat said...

@Swati

This has been on mind. In fact, Him was the one to suggest this. The kid disappeared and hasn't turned up in 2 days. Let's see how we can get her to read or write in the near future...

Tongue-fu Lady said...

Let her work, but do teach her when u r free.. :)

Nikita Banerjee Bhagat said...

@Tongue-fu-Lady

Sigh... only if she listens. Having a tough time getting her to come to work on time!

Let's see what's in store...

Ajiteja said...

Getting her out of work is not the solution, maybe she must be in great need of money that is making her work and not go to school....
If u really wanna make some difference that could raise your morale, help her with her studies or at-least as much capable that she can face the world and its challenges confidently.....

R. Ramesh said...

hi nikkiii...maid n problems r maid for each other yar..how things otherwise? sure all well..say spl hi to H..
wishes always buddy:)

Zeba said...

I agree with Raj. Sigh.

Nikita Banerjee Bhagat said...

@ Ajiteja

From what we have found out so far is that she works so that she isn't left alone in the house and given the current circumstances, its good. About the studies bit, we will get there soon. :)

Nikita Banerjee Bhagat said...

@ Zeeba

I agree with him too.

R. Ramesh said...

hi nikki how u doing? wishes

R. Ramesh said...

nikkkiii thanks yar..for passing by blog..hey hope u n H pass by either blore or bby in august yar..it wil be gr8 to catch up:)

aliasgarmukhtiar mukhtiar said...

hey nice ones ,

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