Friday, January 31, 2014

Bitter Sweet Life

 A very hectic week with changing weather, illness, maid gone! But this post is not to infer that I am a super Mom or how Mommyness is a divine experience. I am trying to take the challenges and the rewards of motherhood just like any other experience in life.

But yes, this is about the simple lessons of life I have learned from two very simple people in my life- my young daughter and the other is my maid. Manju (name changed), my maid, has returned to her village. I am not sure whether she'll be back or not. But I miss her. Not only because she is very good at her work but also because she is a very strong woman whom I admired a lot.

Manju was working at my home since the beginning of my pregnancy. For me she was just another maid until the arrival of my daughter. Pihu, while growing up, started noticing her without any prejudice. The little one would try to win her attention as she would be busy finishing her household chore. To my amazement, one day Pihu forced herself on her lap. The innocent baby would not differentiate between people. But Manju would hesitate in holding her in my presence. However, I could see how it aroused her motherly feelings towards Pihu. After all, she was a mother of five children. Manju who would not talk much to anyone of us, started smiling and playing with her. Slowly an unspoken bond formed between me and her as I realized how similar women are as mother irrespective of status, region or language. 

She had issues with other households where she worked as she would not like when anyone scold her or treat her badly. She quit a house because of that. She had self-esteem. I appreciated that and became very careful not to hurt her feelings that way. We hired her full-time as she was very sincere in her work and Pihu loved her. That solved her problems as well as ours as I started working. She was very warm with Pihu and the elders. She would never take leave without informing us and so I would gladly manage in her absence. 

But as fate would have it, few months ago she told us about an unfortunate episode in her family. I should not divulge the details as it is her personal matter. We were very concerned for her. In her time of distress also, she would come to work as if nothing has happened. No one would have been aware of her misfortune, until someone had noticed her silent tears. It made us realize how we crib about petty issues when people like her are bravely fronting the real challenges out there. 

We helped her in our best possible ways. Her family decided to return back to their village. She told me about their plans and I agreed that it will be best for her children. She was feeling bad that she is leaving me without any notice period but how could I complain about not getting a maid for my household chores when her whole life is suddenly upside down. I smiled and said, ‘don't worry’. She replied, "Insaan hi to insaan ko samjhega!" (To empathize is human!). May God bless her and her family!

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