Thursday, January 22, 2015

Redefining my friend Kamala - “This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.


This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

I had posted this way back in 27/12/2009.  Just to keep you all updated on my friend Kamala - I had helped her set up a small business of masalas hygienically prepared at home to cater to the local crowd.  She began only with a couple of streets in the vicinity but slowly expanded to the whole area and was constantly pressurized to supply to the neighborhood too.  She has employed  friends to help her out with washing, drying and grinding the necessary spices in the mill nearby.  She did not have the courage to expand her set up.  I counselled her to expand and even initiated with the distribution of flyers about her supplies. This time, when I met her, I could see a beaming girl, very cheerful and full of confidence.  Her sons have grown up and occasionally helping her.  Academically too, they are doing very well.   Really proud of her for having fought the odds to create a niche for herself.  Hope her story inspires many more 'Kamalas' in our country who are still trying to fight out.

Here is the original post

Acquaintance with Kamala is only two months old. I had been to my hometown for the preparation of an upcoming wedding in the family. Visiting my hometown after a span of six months required a lot of cleaning and setting up the house. Now, since there was a wedding coming up, this needed much more than the usual. Usually, I  get someone or the other to help me out. This time even after a couple of days of landing, there was no one in sight.   I tried all my resources but of no use.

Then there was the doorbell. When I opened, I saw a beautiful woman in her late twenties dressed in a synthetic sari with simple jewels in her ears and neck. There was this anklet full of gungroos which caught my attention. The look on my face posed enough questions which brought me answers from her. She is a part time maid who had heard from someone that I am in need of someone to help me out. When asked about the salary structure, she would not speak about it and left to my discretion to decide. She had already decided to work for me.

She had passed her tenth standard, married with two sons studying in local school. Her husband is related to her and working as a carpenter. She is the eldest of three daughters and very dear to her father. Her father was not happy that she started working as domestic help, but the financial condition in the house did not allow her to sit at home. She was already working in two houses and assured she would find time to squeeze to help me with the daily chores.

I started waiting for her everyday as she was very good in her work and apart from work, she used to give me ideas of re-arranging the house. She updated about the latest exhibition going on at halls near our house where I could find good decorative items for the home. Sometimes, she used to accompany me too. Also, she would not just finish the regular chores but would extend helping hand to mine too. Slowly, I started to realise that we have developed a beautiful relationship.

When talking about her family, she would always speak high of her husband and children. I was happy for her. 

The wedding day was nearing and she won the hearts of all the guests at home. I could see the gleam in her face when I introduced her as my friend who comes to help me. I bought her a nice sari for the wedding which she planned to wear it with matching bangles and jewels on the wedding day. I was amazed at her  enthusiasm.

She was a great support at the wedding and like a family member she was there always ready to lend a helping hand. The wedding day was finally over and within a couple of days, there was no one at home except Kamala and me. I had to again wind up the house and leave to my place of residence. Suddenly, I could no longer see the smile in her face. When enquired, she told she was feeling sad that I would be leaving.  Within a few days, she brought the house back to normalcy.

I was to leave the next morning. When she came on that day, she tried hard to avoid me. When asked numerous times, she finally told that her husband had not come for almost a week as they had a big fight over some petty issues. He was too drunk on that particular day and was difficult to control him.

The next morning, as I was getting ready to leave, I heard the doorbell and saw Kamala there. I understood that she had cried all night as her eyes were red and lacked sleep. She wanted to speak to me for sometime, she said. She spoke and spoke for half hour. Then, I knew that her life was not a bed of roses as I thought. She hid all her suffering with her ever beautiful smile and not let out her feelings or expected any sympathy. From her dialogue, I figured out that her husband was not going to return to her. I had already planned that during my next visit, would help her to set up a small simple business at home which would give her extra income and also boost up her spirits as I know that she would never take money from me even as loan.

I left India with a heavy heart and continue my prayers that Kamala becomes strong enough to face the long future in front of her but at the same time appreciating her self esteem and dignity of not disclosing her true life status or to take undue advantage of the situation. As I ponder, I look with pride at such people who still keep up the human relationship alive in this materialistic world.

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."  -  Ana├»s Nin
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