I knew her over two years from now. She is always cheerful, happy soul having a constant smile on her face. A mother of three sons and the younger one is of my nephew’s age. They both gel pretty well and my sister encouraged this little boy to come and play at home during weekends and holidays.
I had the opportunity to spend few weeks at my sister’s place and that is when I got to understand this house help. She took a week off from work and went to her home town in Tamilnadu. She told me that, there is some government housing project to facilitate low income group people to build their houses. She told me “Akka – a shelter on the head is more than a bare necessity for me. I can clean the houses and earn 3000 IRN per month now, and 1000INR goes for the rent here. If I can have a house of my own I can work even at my home town and stay there with my kids. Now elder sons stay with my in-laws and there are not many more years I can rely on them. So I will take the advance of INR 3000 from each house I work here and pay the government 25000INR to sanction me a house.”
Then she did not come home for about 15 days, and of course we thought she might not come back. One fine morning she came back at 7am and started working like a normal day. I asked her where was she. She narrated me another instance of bravery. Her husband and she worked at the site to lay the foundation and the pillars, as they wanted to ensure the quality of construction of their new house. She also added, “I am not used to work in the field any more, but for this house I decided to chip in all my efforts. That work made me little weak – but you don’t worry, I will ensure your house work managed smoothly”
The same day in the afternoon she left her younger kid at our place and told he has the October vacation now and he can’t be left alone at house. So he will play with my nephew/watch TV, until she completes the work in all the other houses for about 3-3.5 hours. We were okay with that, as we all empathize with her struggle to make ends meet at the same time ensuring the safety and comfort for her child.
Once she completed all other house hold works, she came back to pick her child, her face was swollen. She told that she slipped in the bathroom while washing clothes. Her lips turned blue and we can see the blood patches on her teeth. We offered her some general medicine for pain and oil, told her to relax a while, if she can.
With all this odds she returned to work next day, with her little son. But the child really looked dull, she told that, he caught up with chicken pox. That is something which put us back and we had to tell her not to bring the boy home and in contact with my nephew, though we knew she can’t keep him at home alone, neither she can afford to take some time off.
Next day, I left my sister’s place to go to my mom’s place and then to my sweet home. I don’t know how she managed the situation, but I am sure she figured out something.
I am amazed at this woman with no education, don’t know even to count the currency notes, but always positive, no complaints at work or the life situations. She understands the importance of education and supports her children to get educated.
Cheers to her exceptional love for life and infinite positivity. My salute to the exceptional souls around.