I have taken a vow never ever to ask my maid, who also substitutes as my masseur, anything that would upset her, when she is at work, especially on me. After years of making layers of chappatis, she can indeed knead you to a pulp if you are not careful. And careful I was not the day I asked about her ‘life in general’.
If I were a fast learner, which unfortunately I never was, I would have learned long back to keep my trap shut when at the mercy of ladies with able (read Popeye) hands, nimble fingers &… not to mention ample problems. Closer home, my beautician has already given me many a painful lessons, more than the routine session demands. Whenever I found the audacity to protest against her verbal assault, while she partakes the ‘extra’ job of routinely updating me like a software, she would ‘accidentally’ – t’h’read on me harder, confuse sandpaper with a scrubber, boil the wax to a 100 degrees or at the very least squeeze a generous amount of facial cream down my throat, promptly shutting me up & my attempts at protesting. After tasting various flavours of creams & trying out different pitched screams, it finally dawned on me. I was (not by choice) playing the part of a ‘mute’ therapist (she felt)/punching bag (I felt) while she was letting some steam off her pressure filled life… ironically all in the midst of a supposedly pleasure filled & relaxing beauty treatment.
Please note: this is what happens when I Do Not Ask. Needless to say, the day I asked, my maid found a psychotherapist in me & I had to find a physiotherapist to get me on my feet, after an hour of the ‘message conveyed through massage’ session.
The pain of nearly broken bones has mended, but the pain in my heart caused by my maid’s sad, abused, deprived, poverty stricken & unbelievably hard life story is yet to heal. I can elaborate on all her sufferings, but I would rather you gals take some time out & undertake a ‘therapy’ session for your respective maids. In return, you will end up valueing your life much more, I promise. It is not the maids alone, or for that matter my beautician (who doesn’t yet own a parlour, only troubles galore) who are suffering. Unfortunately majority of the women belonging to the lower income strata have to put up with so much of hardship, physical & mental, there are times when I am guilty of thinking that all the girl children killed at birth, are far better off than the ones living in such an unfeeling world.
To those who crinkle up their noses at ‘talking’ (& not screaming orders) to a maid, let me to say that although they might be found wanting in wealth, education & social standing, they are mighty high in terms of values & virtues and their minds are indeed ‘mines of wisdom’. A talk with them (not while availing a massage, might leave you wailing) will give us more insight & foresight than the mindless gossip we always love to indulge in.
So along with all our ravings & rantings about ‘save the life of a girl child’, which I am sure I am & you are diligently doing… we should find ways & means to make their lives worth living too.
So to rest that beautiful head of yours, while you don your thinking caps & come up with strategies & plans to ease up the lives of these women, let me lend you some soft cushions, showcased in pretty & unique ‘home made’ cushion covers, made from cloths & scraps lying around. Please feel free to use them.
Sleeves of a Ghagra Choli, outgrown by my daughter, colour up this plain cream cushion cover.
Pieces cut out from a long sleeve blouse (to steer it back in fashion) are used to enhance this cover.
A Crochet table mat/cloth manages to shoot up the style quotient of this cover.
Gujarati key chain dolls adorn this cover made out of a Pipli wall hanger.
A cloth bag (used for packaging sweets, by the neighbourhood sweets shop), with a sweet and strong message, is the hero of this cushion cover.
Simple cushion covers become the perfect stage for these beautiful Rajasthani puppets.
Felt cutouts breathe new life into a burnt out cushion cover.
Kudos to all those strong women who walk with an unflinching smile on their lips, burning faith in their hearts & eternal hopes in their eyes…. through life’s long & hard path, all in search of a ‘better life’. Happy Women’s Day to all us brave women.