Santosh Bakaya takes a dig at our skewed priorities and at the universal mindset of peeping into celebrities’ lives and callously ignoring the invisibles of society.
Morning Meanderings is a musings column by Dr Santosh Bakaya. Enjoy her jottings with a hot cup of tea. 🙂
My feet were itching to go out for my morning walk and it was already late. The entire house needed to be attended to, the kitchen was a mess, so were the rest of the rooms. Kanchan had gone to her village for just a week, but it had been a month now, that every knock at the door had made me spring up in bed, echoing the emotion of the heroine in Haqeeqat , “Zara si aahat hoti hai to dil sochta hai, kahin yey vo to nahi.”
Hey, hang on in there, I will come back. Someone knocking… Kahin ye vo to nahi?
“I was told that you need a maid.”
It was a girl standing there, looking expectantly at me.
Oh, she seemed to be made for me.
“Come in, come in,” I chirped.
The tiny bird, chirping away on my window sill, looked flabbergasted for a moment, then flew away, feeling cheated because it was the girl who had taken over and was chirping now.
“I am from Cooch Bihar,” she said, without waiting for my questions.
“Oh,” I said, looking at her quizzically, and without waiting for my response, the chit of a girl ploughed forth, chirping excitedly.
“In my village people’s height shoots up very soon.”
“My brother-in- law was so small, now he has become so tall, and he is only twelve.”
“He is at a growing age therefore he grew tall.”
“No, no, I am also at a growing age, but I did not grow, but my devar grew, he is younger than me. My village is really nice, helps in growth.”
“In Jaipur, people become short, look at me, I was tall when I came from the village, now my height has decreased. Look, you are also short.”
I looked at her, absolutely amazed. Was she in her senses?
“Come,” I said, heading towards the kitchen, where I had put the cauldron on the gas stove.
“Oh, you are cooking? You know, Didi, I had to go out looking for jobs, so I did not cook, my mother-in-law cooked.”
“What did she cook?”
“Bottle gourd and potatoes with tomatoes.”
“Oh, I too cooked the same.”
“Same to same?”
“Yes, same to same,” I echoed her words, hiding a smile.
“How old are you?”
“Eighteen, I think.”
“You are only eighteen…”
“Yes, I got married two years back.”
“Did you not study at all?”
“Well, my mother wanted me to study.”
“Then she died.”
“She would literally push me out of the house every morning with my satchel and tiffin box and would even wipe my tears – now no one wipes my tears.”
It was the same story everywhere.
The same heart-wrenching story.
“She died during child birth, the doctor said, she was very weak”.
“I was ten then. Tell me Didi, how could she be strong, she had hardly anything to eat.”
Stray thoughts started weighing heavy on my head. The social media was going gaga over a royal birth, ‘Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gives birth to boy, weighing 7 pounds and three ounces,” said the newspapers.
A new birth is always welcome, and definitely calls for celebration, but why should we lose sleep over the birth of a nonagenarian monarch’s eighth great-grandchild?
Why? No one ever talks about the invisibles languishing on the periphery of society. No one is bothered about newborns and pregnant mothers dying of malnourishment. Why these topsy-turvy priorities? We spend hours discussing celebrities’ dress sense, scoffing at it, justifying it, condemning it. (‘We’ includes me too. Sigh!)
“You look famished, have something to eat, then you can begin the work,” I said, trying to push away the depressing thoughts.
“Does this mean you are hiring me?”
Her entire body was one huge smile.
I walked to the window.
I had missed my walk, but the sun had come to meet me at the window, flashing a warm smile.
More to read in Morning Meanderings
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