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?