Words Were Not Enough
by Sonali Pradhan
My husband and I moved to Gurgaon, the millennium city way back in 2006 and have been travelling across cities in India. Jobs have taken us to Bangalore, Mumbai and Gurgaon. Out of the three, Gurgaon has been our home since 2011.
We had just moved in within one of the high tower societies, which are sprawling across the city with an abundance of all the necessary amenities that you can name of. Magnificent structures with a small space in it which you can call as your home.
There was a knock on the door the day we shifted and there was a frail middle aged lady holding on to the sidebar along the corridor waiting for us to answer the door. Midst of all the chaos and the home furniture sprung across, there she was.
She was bleak in her speech and wasn’t sure why she was standing there. To give it a name, she was here to be recruited and had come with her credentials so to say. My husband answered the door and she just asked for the lady of the house. As the societal norms are, household works are to be dealt with the lady of the house. My husband hollered and I flew from across the house just at the mention of a maid. Well, to be honest, maids, I call them skilled workforce are the necessity and is far from beyond to ignore as they get you up and running. For a smooth function of your household, the maid is a must on your list! Never said, never denied!
As I approach the door, she starts telling me her past work and that she can join the next day. She seemed nice to me without any signs or remorse and helplessness. So she is hired, there wasn’t much to debate on her credibility, as she was any way employed within the same complex and had a valid pass to cross through the
She continues to be regular and diligent in her work. There were hardly any times where I complained about her work. She was present at every sunrise at my door and got me started.
Her presence had a nonchalance flavor and she was never in between things. She had made her own space in the house, covered her work and was done. Whenever she had a chance (rather in the absence of my husband), would sit with me and shared her stories about her family and her village from where she belonged.
Now after 4 and a half yrs, it was time for us to move again. I recently shared with her about our relocation. She wasn’t too happy about it, and I didn’t understand why. Her immediate response was, how will my house work. I didn’t understand, why would she get so dramatic about this, I wasn’t paying her enough for her to sustain on the money. She mentioned she was completely at ease with the employment and had followed this routine over the last 4 yrs. She wasn’t ready to change yet. Speaking calmly she pours her heart out. She began saying that money doesn't mean everything. She had this ease at the place and she wasn't ready to part ways with it and that she wasn’t sure what she would do after we leave, which was an odd thing to say as getting another job within the same premises wasn’t a challenge. She kept repeating, how difficult it is to adjust to a new surrounding and people who come along with it. We bantered some more and she left.
Leaving me with her thoughts, she definitely got me thinking about the certain relationships which don't need words and efforts to shape up. In her own nice way, all she wanted to say was that I really like you and I am sad that you are leaving.
Sometimes it's difficult to put literal words to feelings. ***