September 5th, 2016
“I work in Kolkata and stay in a PG. Saturday is not off for me though my boss is generous to keep Saturdays as half day. One Saturday when I came back from office, I called massi. Maids in Kolkata are referred as “Massi”, to clean my room.
A young girl came with broom and bucket and said “didi hum saaf kar dete hai” Her Hindi was very good without any “Bangla” accent. I agreed and she started.
Let me confess you honestly, I am quite gender bias and have soft corners for girls. As she looked quite young, out of my curiosity, I asked why don’t you go to school? She very politely answered – I am 12th standard pass but could not continue her education due to financial problems. I again asked her why don’t you join some good computer courses and do some decent job. She again very politely said -I joined computer courses as well, thrice but had to leave in between. I didn’t ask anything and was just wondering what had happened that forced her to leave the study. I couldn’t even conclude and she asked me if am ok if she shares something with me. I was very happy and gave her permission.
“Didi I took a loan of 1.5 lacks” I was taken aback and threw her all possible questions of “what, why”, “when” and “how” Her answer was – for brother’s education. Why not for yourself? And why for brother? “Didi hamari shaadi ho jaayegi, hum chale jaayenge, Bhai padh lega to mummy baba ka dyaan rakh paayega” I was all in tears. She took a loan for brother’s education and sacrificed her own education when she is such a bright student.
She took a loan from the money lender and she has to pay 5k every month for two years. She is earning 7k in my hostel where she is provided with accommodation and food. She has to do this work to repay the loan. One year has already passed and one more year. She is not even interested to marry till she has a good career. Her plan is to repay the loan and continue working till she saves good amount for herself to take nurse training.
While conversing with her, she confessed that she wants to learn English so she will join “spoken English Class”soon. I adviced her not to waste money on those classes and she should come to me in the evening. As per the plan, she came and to my surprise, she was able to construct proper English sentences and was able to converse in English with me. A girl who studied in Bengali medium through out was able to converse with me in English. She.learnt all my herself by referring some books.
I still wonder, I have everything by god grace and still I cry for petty things. She don’t have anything but is able to achieve so much due to her positive approach towards her life.
Hats off to you Mona! Keep it up. I will love to see you in a good position some day. You deserve that.”
Submitted By – Shivani Bhargava
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