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Showing posts from July, 2014

One Step Up

Diya
Diya forced herself to relax while the attendant spread a mud pack on her face. She’d been nervous all week thinking about today. This was totally unlike the little beauty parlour she went to every month for eyebrow threading and the occasional haircut. No, this was a spa and they didn't just cut hair here. They styled it. And that was only the beginning of all the treatments a woman could get done. Normally she would have been too intimidated to even set foot inside, let alone enquire about the prices which she was sure would be too high for her budget.

But this visit was a gift from her dear mother for her 30th birthday. Luckily for her, the gift card was for a particular package which meant she would not be gaping like a fool at the exorbitant rates. Once again, Diya tried to relax telling herself that these women were being paid by her. She employed them and as much as she was sure they were secretly laughing at her naiveté, Diya wasn’t the one working for a living. But de…

One Step Up

Radha
Radha knew that Lakshmi was eyeing her sari, though no expression showed on her face. All the maids thought she was arrogant for not talking to them but Radha had never been one of those people who thought her caste made her a better person. It had just been easier not to talk to anyone when she had first come to the city. Besides, these maids never had anything much to talk about except gossip and no one knew better than her how much damage could be caused when women gossiped!

It was gossip that made her believe in Chandrasekhar. That he was a famous author, pretending to be a wastrel and swindler for his latest novel. He had been so charming, she had fallen for him completely. Her parents had died when she was 13 and she had always wanted someone to take care of her. She had been so happy. Until the day she woke up to find that he had disappeared and her house sold without her knowledge. He had turned out to be a swindler, pretending to be a famous author. She had been left wi…

One Step Up

Lakshmi
Like every other day, Lakshmi woke at 5 am in the morning. As a domestic worker in a sprawling metropolis, she had her share of worries. But today a new trouble stood out from the general sense of anxiety that usually ran in the background: the problem of rent. Lakshmi and her family of 5 - her husband Kumar and the 3 kids - shared rooms with another family in the run down building. They were lucky not to be living in the slums like some of the other maids but with the landlord raising the rent yet again, she wasn't sure how much longer they could live there.

She went about her daily chores mechanically, all the while puzzling over how to raise the extra money. Maybe she could ask a raise from one of the women she cleaned for. She had worked in some houses for more than 3 years and everyone agreed that she was fast and quiet, not like some of the others. She remembered that Mrs. Patel had wanted her for some extra hours on the festival weekend, that little bit would come i…