Saluting the will to stay upbeat!

A cacophony of sounds waft out the kitchen to the living room. Sounds of vessels being scrubbed, water being poured into the pots on the window sills, a joke that she shares with whoever’s around to listen, a song from the latest blockbuster that she hums enthusiastically and more. From the minute she arrives, her constant chatter and the hustle-bustle are impossible to ignore. Her talks are peppered with daily anecdotes or Santa-Banta jokes. Her eyes light up whenever she talks about the five year old she cares for in her other job. You can see the twinkle in her eye as she recounts tales of his naughtiness.

She is our domestic help, Reshma. Her own unique self, but one who undoubtedly represents many other such women. With her cheerful demeanour, it’s hard to believe that this girl who’s been working along with her Mom to contribute to her family income, is only nineteen. She’s someone who dropped out of school to work so she could earn and her brothers could study. When Mom volunteered to help tutor her after work, she politely turned down the offer. She couldn’t afford the time.

Street smart, extremely efficient, bubbly and young at heart, there’s little that holds her down. When I left for Australia last year, she gifted me a farewell note that she had painstakingly put together alphabet-by-alphabet. Not knowing English, she had conveyed her feelings in Hindi and her brother had helped her with the English words. An avid learner, her un-quenched thirst of learning new things is what, I suspect, keeps her going. When she learnt riding her brother’s motorbike, little could she have imagined what she would use the skill for! She now enjoys riding our two wheeler, taking my Mom pillion with her, to get veggies from the market! It wasn’t a surprise then that Reshma became Reshma the trainer, when our neighbour approached her to help learn ride the two wheeler!

It’s hard to find little things that can keep you upbeat especially when you have to do a lot of mindless drudgery day in and day out. When my ‘foreigner’ cousin stayed here for a week, Reshma had a blast. For about a month after they’d left, she’d still drawl ‘Excuse Me’ and ‘Oh, Thank you, How sweet of you!’ in perfect American accents and then giggle like a child! To have none of the churlishness or boorishness that is often exhibited by so many individuals on a daily basis is commendable. She is someone with dreams of her own. I can see the quest to learn, the passion to do, the want to fly high in the sky. And yet, without letting life become a string of regrets, she keeps on going. Here is a girl, a woman, who is as beautiful as her work. Someone who truly believes in spreading the cheer around. How then, could I not dedicate this post to her?

This is my entry to the Mia – As Beautiful as your Work contest, hosted at Women’s Web for Tanishq

I would love to hear your views!