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New year and the Maid-2 (Concluding part)

March 6, 2011

After the initial anger and annoyance gave way to concern, my wife was more than anxious about our maid’s well-being. She had on a few occasions dropped her in her house on her Scooty, days when she was late in finishing the work or days when she was visibly tired. Her house was some 3-4 Km from ours and she had to walk the entire distance as it was not on the bus route. My wife suggested that we drop by at her place to find out what the problem was.She was scared to go alone as she feared the worst and thought that  she wouldn’t be able to handle it all by herself. I was tired from the day’s work, but I couldn’t say this as it would bring forth a tirade against me for being inconsiderate. I seriously didn’t think much of this prolonged absence. I thought that she would have gone to her daughter’s  house or something. Anyway to put my wife’s mind at ease I told her that we will wait for one more day before we go enquiring.

The next day she came. She was tired and looked haggard. It seems in the early hours of 1st, her son on a milk run to deliver milk and newspaper had knocked down a drunk old man. He could have left him there and driven off, but he and his assistant tried to take him to the hospital. The old man had died on the way to the hospital. Word had gotten around. The relatives and neighbours of the old man had gathered and beaten both of them black and blue before the police arrived and they were taken into custody. So at the precise time our maid was enjoying her favourite cake, her son was in police custody.

By the time she went home and found out what had happened it was already late afternoon. She then had to arrange for some money to bail her son out and then admit him in the hospital. His face had puffed up with all the beatings he had received.The money came at an exorbitant interest. At that time her worry was not how she was going to repay the money. She managed to get her son out of custody and admitted in the hospital. The loss of income, the additional expenses for the treatment would be way too much for anybody, leave alone a poor soul. To add to her woes the police too used to visit her in the pretext of an enquiry and demand money or ask her to provide her to provide food from some ‘decent’ restaurants. How anybody can take advantage of somebody’s misery is beyond me, but that’s the way the world is.

In all the hullabaloo, the son’s cell phone was lost or more probably stolen and that is why we were not able to contact the son or her. Though she knows our telephone number it would have been too much to ask of her to contact  and inform us about the situation, amidst all the confusion. It had taken 5 days for some semblance of normalcy to return. And here she was now. My wife told me that she was going to give her soft loan, whatever that means, and most probably it would have meant don’t expect it back. But what the hell, a lot of money goes awaste for no rhyme or reason and to be of help to somebody in distress is at the least,  satisfying. My mother chipped in with an amount from her pension. Extending financial help was the least we could do. To get into the nitty-gritty of the case could only jeopardize and complicate the arrangement that she had worked out by herself.

Things are getting back to normal. She continues to go on leave without informing my wife and my wife continues to threaten her that she would be fired or her wages would be cut. I only wish and pray that she does not have to go through such bad times again or if she does, to have the strength and resilience that she had exhibited to face them. I had learnt a lesson that day. All my so-called problems will pale in comparison to what I see and hear people undergo. We have been blessed.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2011 11:49

    Oh my. I am sure that I expected another ending, but then that is you, Govind. You always bring forth something unexpected.
    But, seriously, yes, you are blessed. And so are most of us, in that we seem far removed from such trials and tribulations. How awful for that lady to have gone from pillar to post, and still have to face such worries each day.
    Hopefully nothing as bad will happen to her or her family soon, and though this is easy to say, I do pray she continues to find the strength to take her through such times, if they do visit her. She is lucky to have your family to support her through her troubled times. God Bless!

    • March 7, 2011 20:53

      I was getting a feeling that I was becoming utterly predictable. Glad that I could throw in a surprise.

  2. Olivia Kanna permalink
    March 7, 2011 01:07

    That’s a very humane ending to the maid’s sad plight, thanks to considerate employers like you! You said it, Govind, yes, we have been blessed, and mightily at that. On a lighter note though, I know where to go for a job now if at all I choose to go back to India and am jobless! 🙂

    • March 7, 2011 20:56

      Olivia thanks. I think you are little late. I have already packed my bags to Vancouver where I will most probably take up employment in a household that belongs o a certain teacher. 🙂

  3. Chithrajust permalink
    March 7, 2011 14:08

    these are very common occurences in a typical indian scenario; as you say, there’s no use trying to comprehend the weird ways of the world; the boy might have been rash; the old man had no business to wander the early morning roads in a drunken state; but who are we to sit on judgement? you did the best that you could have under the given situation; as for the ‘love-hate’ relationship between your wife and the maid, trust me, it’s a ‘veetukku veedu’ vasappadi thingy! 🙂
    as i have some of my regulars expecting ONLY humour from me and feels disappointed when i write something serious, i guess i’ve to used to your brand of humour too; but no complaints; as a writer, i know that it’s important to write what we feel! keep them coming 🙂

    • March 7, 2011 21:00

      CJ very profound observations. Eppadi intha chinna vayasil ivvalavu gnanam.?
      The only time that I will be ‘serious’ is when I will have an ailment that needs hospitalization. Till such time you have to put up with such inane humour. 🙂

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