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She parked her pink scooty in front of the gate, kept the keys in her little sling and went inside. She took off her shoes before entering the house. "Good morning didi", she greeted Rekha. "Oh Mona, I was waiting for you ,thank God you are here" was Rekha's reply." Meet my mummy, she arrived last night from Delhi", she said ."Namaste aunty ji", Mona greeted Sharda(Rekha 's mom)."Namaste beta, you must be my daughter's neighbour, isn't it?" she enquired. "Mummy, this is Mona, she helps me with the household chores. She is a very bright girl",Rekha informed. Sharda scanned Mona from head to toe with raised eyebrows. She was perplexed to see this housemaid dressed up in denims, a nice kurta, hair tied neatly into a ponytail, watch on her wrist and a mobile in her sling that swinged by her side. Amazingly for Sharda, she even had a scooty to ride on."After doing the dishes, clean the terrace today", Rekha instructed to which Mona nodded in reply . Soon she finished her work and went back with a promise to come early next day onwards.
Now it was time for Sharda to give her reaction. She had cooked up numerous doubts in her mind and it was time to clear them now."Rekha you couldn't find a proper maid for yourself?These fashionable girls are good for nothing, just look at her ways, I don't think she is right for your house", declared Sharda. "Mummy , Mona is a very hard working and good girl", Rekha defended."Mona, what a fancy name", Sharda criticised. "O come on mummy, don't be so typical, every house help's name doesn't need to be shanta bai or gangu bai", interupted Rekha. "You are not understanding my point, think like a wife, you never know men, you will regret when she will charm your husband right under your nose", Sharda expressed her fear. Rekha giggled, "mummy you are simply impossible, I trust my husband and understand your point as well, Mona's mother has similar fears for her teenage daughter who goes to other people's houses everyday. She is always worried for her, that's why I never call her in my absence as it is my duty to safeguard her"." If she would have been so nice and pious, she would not dress up so attractively.From where did a poor girl get so much money to buy a vehicle"? asked Sharda. "Mummy, what are you saying without even knowing her. Just by her appearance you assassinated her character? She is a teenager, all of eighteen. She also wants to look good like other girls of her age, what's so wrong about it? This second hand vehicle, she has purchased with her diwali bonus plus she has borrowed some money from me which I deduct every month from her salary. Mona is a very bright and intelligent girl, she passed her intermediate exam with good marks and now she has taken admission in BA.She finishes her work in the morning, goes to college and then gives tution to some kids of her neighbourhood",Rekha was still speaking when her mother jumped in between, "once she finishes her studies she will not work for you anymore, she will turn her back and desert you". "I will be more than happy when Mona will be able to achieve something in life. I have seen her struggle ,her dedication and hard work despite all odds.I really want to do something for this girl , I want to see her succeed, I just want to give her a helping hand", Rekha told Sharda in an emotional voice. Sharda stood silent and still unconvinced when Rekha quoted Sushmita Sen's famous lines
If all my pains and all my tears, and all that I have earned throughout the years, can lift a fallen head, and brighten a darkened mind, then I will think that not in vain, was my service to mankind.
The character Mona of this story is inspired by a real life story of a similar girl. She is constantly and repeatedly victimised by inappropriate comments and criticism just because she wants to develop and evolve into a better human being with self esteem. She loves dressing nicely and wants to enjoy life although it is not all that easy for her. But sadly the society we live in, is being unable to come out of the stereotypes despite being educated and so called modern. Isn't this hypocrisy?
Do share your feelings in the comments section.