She opened her eyes and saw the crimson light of dawn entering from the crack in the tin door of her shelter. “House cannot be like this”, she use to sadly think when she compared her place of living with the big 3 or 4 bhk apartments of her employers where she worked as a maid . She quickly got up and ran to get freshen up to the common toilet which was shared among the other maids and their families. Luckily that day she saw just two people in the line before her.
“Who is taking so much time inside?”, the rest of the lot shouted and pulled her out of her misery and chain of endless thoughts. She looked back and saw that the line has now grown to a considerable number when she was lost in her own thoughts. On her turn she hurriedly finished her natures call, not because she was afraid of the fury of the waiting line but because she doesn’t want to get late to work. The madam, where she goes at 6 am was a strict fella and cuts the amount from her monthly wages when she gets late or took an off .
She washed and cleaned her face from a pile of clean rags kept on top of the aluminium ‘baksa’ she brought from her home when she set her foot out to work for her two small children. She was married at an early age into a family where she was beaten by everyone if she tried to even speak. Her job in the house was to provide for the bare necessities of everyone present in the form of food, water , clothing , cleaning and of course sex to the husband. To add to her already painful survival, her husband got a kidney ailment which snatched their meagre chances of survival.
That was the time when she decided to do something in the outside world away from her brutish in-laws place. She decided to keep the fate of her and her children’s life in her control. At least she will not let her children grow up in the shadow of her turmoil and misery. And thus she came to a far flung land of opputunitues and aspirations. Sometime later even her husband joined her when he saw that the person who could take care of him was only her and also when he saw that she has started earning some decent pennies for survival.
But this time the ball was in her court and she set forth the rules on his first day in her shelter. “I am earning for my children so the major portion will be saved and used for them. Start some work, however small it might be but I shouldn’t find you at home. I will pay for your medical bills but not for your unfanthom poisons. The most important part that will decide your stay for the next month will be the amount of money you will contribute in the smooth running of this house”, she said all this in one breath. She felt as if a heavy weight was lifted away from her bosom. Suddenly she added one last verdict stating that, “ the moment you will raise your hand to have your ways with me, I will complain against you in the nearby police station which is commissioned by a strict lady officer who always help the ‘maids in distress’ and be their ‘ knight in the shining armour’.”
She had a huge grin on her face while turning her back to him when she saw the astonishment on his face and she knew that her warning will never go in vain as far she will have the courage to stick to it. She might be docile and afraid in front of her madams and didis, where she worked, but not in front of anybody else as she knew the real meaning of taking the control of your life in the our hand and now when she has found it, she will never let it go.
She shook her head proudly remembering the events of the previous night and saw her world still sleeping in their world of dreams and happiness. She thus took her bag and water bottle to make her way confidently towards her work space where she is free to work, to meet her friends, talk her heart out and take ideas for a better living. Today’s morning was not different from any other but it surely had the lost charm in it which her eyes alone can recognise.