Probably the most elusive and chased after, of all the human emotions, is the feeling of happiness.Â
To different people, its definition is entirely different. Only one thing is common and that is, it begins with your thoughts, not on what you have or even who you are (rich or poor, young or old). Most importantly, you must love yourself first. Otherwise, how will you expect others to love you?
Indu, who worked as a maid in the housing society near her home, lived with her only daughter Meeta, a thirteen-year-old seventh-grader. Her husband, once a factory laborer, had passed away a couple of years ago due to a road accident. Although she did receive some remuneration from her husband’s factory, she deposited the entire amount in the bank, for her daughter’s future.
Ever since his demise, Indu has been going out to work to make the ends meet. It’s almost five years since she has been working in three different flats in the society, from the morning till the late afternoon.
At Indu’s home. ” Meeta beta, it’s 7 am now, get ready fast for your school, while I’m cooking for you and myself.”
” I’m done with my bath, just give me 5 more minutes. Had slept late at night, as I was preparing for the half-yearly exams which will start tomorrow. And yes, I need to deposit the exam fees of Rs.1500/- by today. I have reminded you several times, Ma.”
” I know beta very well, but I don’t have the required sum at present. Had requested all of my madams where I work. But unfortunately, none of them obliged to give me the amount in advance. I’ll now have to borrow money from the friendly neighborhood kiranawala. Let’s go to him together, from there on you go to school, collecting the money.”
” Namaste Indu Bahan, how is your daughter? Tell me how can I serve you.”
” Vinod Bhaiya, can you lend me some money for my daughter Meeta’s exam fees? I’ll pay you back as soon as I get my wage.”
” Oh… why not, your daughter is like my own daughter. Rs.1500/- here you go.”
” Thanks a lot, Bhaiya, for being so kind-hearted. The places where I work, I did not receive this timely help.”
” To each their own, Indu Bahan, what can we do and say. I believe in always providing timely help. Who knows someday I might also need help in some or another way,” Vinod, the shopkeeper said with a smile.
From here, Indu and Meeta happily parted ways with each other. Meeta headed towards the school to reach by 8 am, and her mother had to reach the Tiwari household by the same time.
Indu pressed the doorbell and slowly entered, by opening the partially open door. Mrs. Kriti Tiwari had kept the door open for her only, while she was busy making breakfast.
” Will you have tea, Indu.”
” No Bhabhi, I just had it while leaving my home,” Indu said while starting to clean up the utensils.
” I’m so sorry Indu, I could not give you the money you had asked for a few days back, for your daughter’s exam fees. My father-in-law suffered a stroke the same day, and he had to be hospitalized. Lots of cash went away in medicines and other hospital expenses. So my husband told me to wait for a few days until he receives his salary, as we are going through a period of cash crunch.”
” No issues Bhabhi, I have managed for Meeta’s exam fees. You take care of Babuji here.”
” Yes dear, he regained his consciousness yesterday, and the doctor has advised a light breakfast for him from today. That’s why I was preparing light daliya for him, apart from making pasta for my children at home. Hubby will leave for the hospital in half an hour or so. Now let me pack up daliya in a casserole.”
” Don’t worry Bhabhi, I will pray to God that Babuji recovers very soon.”
” Thanks for your wishes, dear Indu. You know what, I’ve always liked your positivity.”
” Arre Bhabhi, I’m not that praiseworthy. I just believe that as long as you live, you must be happy with yourself first by spreading happiness around. Problems are there with each one of us, but they should not dampen our overall spirit.” Indu said that while mopping the drawing-room floor.
” Oh wow, what a sound piece of advice dear. May God bless you and your Meeta with abundant happiness. Let Babuji return from the hospital, then you and I both will prepare ‘mathris’ and ‘ghujias’ for the upcoming ‘Holi’ festival.”
” Sure Bhabhi, I would love to help you.” Saying that Indu continued to work for another half an hour, washing clothes.
Taking leave from here, she headed to the Thakkar household, two floors above. It was about 10.30 am now. In the afternoon Indu had to reach her home, which she does daily, for lunch and to check out on Meeta, who returns from school by 1 pm. Meeta carried a duplicate key by herself.
The main door of the house was wide open, as usual. The Thakkar household was a generous lot as if there was an open invitation to all, who reached their floor. And the credit for that goes to the Grand old lady with the age of 98 years.
” Aah, there she comes, hello Indu beta, looking a bit thin, eat properly at least when you come to my home.” Said the matriarch of the house, sitting in her wheelchair.
” That’s so very generous of you dear Dadi Amma, I feel so much at home here because of your presence and genuine care. People like you are rare to find in the world.”
” Chal hatt… maska laga rahi hai mujhe kya?” Dadi Ma said with a smile and a slight wink in her eye.
” Nahi Dadi Amma, aap sahi mein lakhon me ek ho. Aap ne hi mujhe kaam ki ahmiyat sikhaya, khud par bharosa karna aur khud se pyar karna sikhaya hai,” Indu said while dusting the showpieces spread around the hall.
” Yes my child, no work is big or small, you must believe in yourself and also love yourself, to love your job, and also love the people around you.”
” Dadiji, where are Bhaiya, Bhabhi, and their children, I can not see them around today.”
” They have gone today to spend their weekend in a famous resort 100kms away from here. My caretaker Uma who is cooking in the kitchen right now will stay with me till they return.” Dadi told her and continued her talk.
” Oh dear… take this amount from me for your Meeta’s exam fees. Yesterday when you had asked for it, then just an hour ago I gave some money to Uma, for some urgent work. And all the family members were in a mall shopping then.” She said taking out the amount from her purse.
” It’s alright Dadi Amma, I have managed to pay for the deposit. That you remembered about Meeta’s exam fees, speaks volumes about your sharp memory, and also your caring nature.” Indu said while getting engaged in the job of mopping the floors.
” In that case, you still must take the amount from me. I’m very sure you may have borrowed Rs.1500/- from someone, and you can return it to that person. Now I won’t hear any no from you. I’m ordering you to come up and take this.”
” Thank you so much for your kindness, Dadi Amma. I’m touched.” Indu’s eyes had moistened a bit now while approaching to receive the amount.
After finishing her chores here, and eating freshly cooked ‘sabzi’ with two ‘rotis’ on Dadi’s orders, Indu left the place. She moved to the third household at 12.30 pm.
It was the Sen household, and a dreaded one for that matter, as compared to the other two friendly households. But for the concern of the lady of the house, Indu used to come here regularly. By now she pressed the doorbell thrice, with no response. Indu stood there hopefully. After pressing for the fifth time, the door opened.
” Oh my God, Alka Bhabhi, just look at yourself.” Indu shuddered upon seeing Alka’s condition, who could barely walk with bruises all over her body and face.
” Come in quickly and lock the door behind, Rajesh is not at home,” said Alka.
” So relieved to know that Bhaiya is not around today. He has beaten you so badly, I just can’t imagine how one can do so. Well, this is the day I was waiting for so long. Bhabhi, I insist that you dial up 100 or 112, for your welfare. I’m backing you up. Bhaiya deserves to be put behind the bars, for domestic violence.”
Alka feebly tried to talk but couldn’t. Indu seemed to be devastated and said, ” Why not call up the society members too here. They have the full right to know about you and your husband. The other days, Bhaiya used to silence you and me for not telling anything to the world. But today I have made up my mind to expose him.”
Saying that Indu dials the 100 number herself on Alka’s phone, and hands it back to Alka. ” Bhabhi if you have faith in yourself and love yourself too, you will forever end this torture.”
” Hello, police… ” Alka continued as she mustered up the courage to speak.
Within minutes the society members were informed and they too, along with the police, reached Alka’s flat. Her husband Rajesh too returned in an hour or so and was arrested and taken away by the police.
” OMG… I can not believe that a beast was residing in our building. Thank you, ladies, for finally speaking up and sending the monster to jail.” Mr. Singh, the housing society President said.
The society members and Alka thanked Indu profusely for taking up a brave stand.
” Why thank me, when you all together could have done it much before. After all, what’s the point in suffering for so long. Give value to yourself and live happily.” Indu told them.
The society people left the place by now. Indu helped Alka to take a bath, and also prepared a meal for her, before leaving.
” Alka bhabhi, have your lunch and go to sleep, you will feel much better, take care and bye.”
While on the way, Indu was pleasantly surprised to see Vinod and his wife, about to catch an auto-rickshaw.
My wife has injured her knee by falling from a stool. So I’m taking her to the clinic, to be examined by a doctor.” Vinod said.
” Bhaiya waits, I have something to give you, I’m returning the amount you gave me in the morning. This might help you both.” Indu said that with a smile.
” I’m so glad Indu bhabhi, for this timely help, you have proved that what goes around comes around,” Vinod said happily.
Indu’s story has proved that you must always see positivity and find happiness under any circumstances. And for that, you must love yourself under any condition also. God has created us, the human beings to live and let others live happily.ðŸŒ¸ðŸŒ¸