The woman who comes to do my cleaning and washing for me – Nagu – must weigh about 40 kilos. She’s 30, a mother of a very bright child and a widow. Before she came to work for me, she says she used to work with another family.
That creature (because i have no other word for her) insisted that Nagu called her ‘madam’, made her work more than 8 hours a day and beat her and abused her when ‘madam’ thought Nagu’s work was below par. Like slap her about and everything. And give her rotting food.
I feel outrage and contempt. I feel pity and sadness that human beings can do this and regularly do it.
So as a result of that treatment Nagu jumps every time I call her name. And if I once look impatient or slightly sullen, she zooms about the house doing everything that’s needed and not.
This scared-rabit reaction of hers used to worry me first and I wondered where it came from. And when she told me this was what happened with her and that it took her five months to get over what happened, I was hurt enough for her to go and rip that ‘madam’ apart. Those five months, she sat at home with her bright daughter, not working. And I wonder who fed them. Or what she did for essentials at home. I want to ask, but how, no?
And then the other day she said something that broke my heart – she said as long as she lives in this area, she’ll always work for me. No matter how much or how long.