I’ve been meaning to tell this to you ever since I realized how much an integral part of our lives you had become.I must have said ‘Thank You’ umpteen times when you served me my morning tea,or even coffee at the wee-est of hours without whining one bit.Or served me meals.Or handed me my bathing towel when I forgot to take it to the bathroom.Or when I was in a rush to go out somewhere,you ran to get my purse and then when I was about to zoom past,I realized I had forgotten my mobile,you ran inside again to get it for me…with an ever smiling face.Or when you massaged my back with Tiger-balm as I was writhing with back pain.Or when you played with Namnam and took care of her when I was busy with other things.Or took it as an unwritten law that you were to serve Namnam milk first thing in the morning when she woke up and in the process gave me a temporary break from my otherwise monotonous chore.
You came into our lives exactly 10days before Namnam did.On September9,2006.In fact Amma brought you home as I was due to have Namnam soon and we needed someone to help us with house work coupled with baby-care 24/7.I still remember the day when you came home.You were this meek,subdued,quiet little girl who had skepticism written all over her face.Although your records stated that you were a major,you seemed like a child to me.Maybe my motherly instincts were at their peak for obvious reasons!I could imagine the thoughts running through your mind about having come to a totally unknown environs.Even though you didn’t utter a word,I could make out you were probably having doubts about our intentions.My heart went out to you.I wanted to assure you that we meant no harm.Achan,Amma and I did all that we could to make you feel comfortable.The first thing Amma did was to feed you well as you looked terribly ill-fed.
Apart from a few monosyllables like ‘haan’s and ‘nahi’s we could hardly draw words out of you.However,in a while you eased up a bit and told us about your family,your village,where you were from,et al.In a few days you were more comfortable with your surroundings.And to the utter delight of Achan,Bronco also took to a liking for you. You understood your responsibilities well,grasped them fairly quickly.Considering the fact that you didn’t speak very fluent hindi as you belonged to a tribal part of Madhya Pradesh,it was amazing to see how fast you had picked up the language and polished yourself in the process.You even learnt to say ‘Thank You’,’Welcome’,’Sorry’ and a few other english words.
When Namnam was born,I was not sure if you would be able to take up the additional responsibility of helping me with baby-care.But you surprised me with your adeptness at handling babies.Just as you were comfortable assisting Amma with her domestic work,you were as much at ease helping me take care of my Namnam.You even changed her diapers for me.You washed her clothes too,which practically happened during that period,’every hour on the hour’.You made her laugh.you played with her.You sang to her.You even put her to sleep at times when I was away.In the five months of my maternity stay here,you grew fonder and fonder of Namnam.And vice-versa.That continues till today.
Anyhow,when it was time for me and Namnam to go back,I remember I had told you,’Uncle,Aunty ka khayal rakhna,aur apna bhi’. With Raghubhaiyya being away,my only concern was Achan and Amma’s welfare.But you sent us away,as always with a smile as though assuring me not to worry.
Ever since that day you have donned your role of a care-taker perfectly well.Every time I come here to visit Achan and Amma,it heartens me to see how well you look after them.As though they are yours.You seem to know what they like.Their dislikes. You always make sure to keep Achan company for breakfast.You always wait for Amma to get back home from school so that both of you can have lunch together.You learnt to cook many dishes from Amma.You even know how to make ‘molaghooshyam’,saambhar by now.
Your only weakness is TV,more precisely serials.It doesnt matter to you if they are in hindi or malayalam.So long as they are serials/soaps you are glued to the set.Many a time this has invited the ire of Amma.Then you mend yourself.But for a short span though.After a few days you get back to your serial-routine!And we condescend you’re still so much like a child.
Today when I realise,a day will come when you will have your own life,have a husband,raise your children,I can think of no other way but this medium to thank you.I know you cannot read.So,wouldn’t know what I’ve posted here.But I also know,tomorrow when you have your children you’ll do everything in your power to educate them and make them worthy human beings.Then,please do make sure they read the post and know how hugely fortunate my family and I have been to have known their mother.
So,Jayanti,I’d like you to know how grateful I am to you for all that you have done for my parents,for me,for all of us.For being there for us.For loving my daughter like your own sister.For spreading so much of warmth and happiness around.
May God bless you with all the goodness in life as you so deserve to be happy.