THE HAPPY MAID

He was at close quarters. Dusk. The maid had just parted. Her name was Stephanie. Stephanie, an arresting figure. Tiger sharp with a whimsical look and an April sun like flash. A smile. And a few words on this brumous day. And a very few words. When September, came she gobbled up a lot of candy along with her stepfather who was very nice to her and considered her as her true daughter. Wear daisy. Borrow books. Eat Aranygaluska gulp Champurrado and sleep and at the end of the day few complaints, sing country music, snore, and sleep. She told to the west wind while taking food in the balcony-This is Stephanie eating lurid yellow cakes and dried chervil and sitting beside a foyer near Gramercy Park. The show has started. Marriage problems. Engaged once to a former wrestler. Now taking rest in the country with turkeys. All standard breeds- Black Spanish Turkey, Bourbon Red, Bronze, Narragansett, Royal Palm.Heritage breeds.Going to the Caribbean.Put her picture on youtube. Adventurer.staying summers at Hallandale.Wise Investor. Lazy husband.[Recently married]. Good dad.Weekly Shopper.carrot eater.old buddy.seasonal writer, philanthropist, the good neighbor, helper of outcasts and women, evening service in the public toilet, a free service and a good occasion to watch the life people. Not a body escaped without his scathing remarks. Life is flat at 32. What is that James Hukhin telling in situations like this? Did he see an emerald isle and suddenly vanish? maybe ‘no’.James Hukhin sputtered up the stairs and peered into the Byzantine oligopoly that cut through beyond the boulevards. A youth was looking into the feast hall inhabited by veterans. One veteran was rather hesitant to coerce to a lady who otherwise would have found elite company elsewhere. This summer he had found new ways of dealing with time. The maid had troubles at home. She was an adopted child and her original parents were living in the same town. Earlier when she was adopted there was an agreement that she would not see her original parents. Though her school was to a certain extent near her original parents’ house, she was not permitted to see them. As a child, she did not know about them. When she grew up, things became crystal pellucid. When she grew big, she requested the consent of her foster father to see her real parents. Because she loved his foster father, a kind man who was behind every move of her life, she did not want to affront him. Then, one day she went to see her original parents. They were so poor that they lived in squalor. Her father had a frail constitution and he often coughed. Her mother was sitting at the edge of the room which was dirty. There was neither fire nor wash space. Her father looked into her eyes and she saw a special radiation in his eyes, that he had never seen in her life. Her mother’s voice had a very guilty feeling. She felt confused. She learned from their conversation that they had a son younger to her but he has left home before some years and his whereabouts are not traceable. She did not know what should be told but was at loss of words. The happy maid saw that somebody was following her and she ran fast. When she reached Karakka, behind the culvert and the edge of a brook by which a road was passing by, and from where one can get a glimpse of the sunset, she looked back. No, the cat was not there. Not a hint of him. She looked down. The brook was flowing. A calmness that led her memory to so many fine twilights in the seaside retreat where she spent her time with her late husband.‘Miria’, somebody beckoned by her other name. It was like a whisper and a heavy truck rushed by. She is jinxed these days that she gets phantasms and maybe the noise she caught, or the one she was eager to hear was one of the countless items she yearned in life.
2
Now she walked past the overbridge and the junior seminary where her boss’s boy studied and she reminisced about his strutting and uncouth manners. When you lose everything you thought as estimable in life, what will you have that the others will appreciate in life? Stephanie was into all these solicitudes when her old boss called her and told that her service is needed for her son’s marriage that will take place after a fortnight. She was surprised. So soon. That strutting fellow of twenty-three- for a girl. She was irritated by his long soup-strainer and when she climbed the stairs, he also climbed down. Quite mannerless. Seems he studied in a famous college and has no deportment. Stephanie knew how to regard old people, people who are not hale and older than her. This made her quite popular in the repository and in the omnibuses when she came back with loads of vegetables, she bought for other housewives. She got a cut for her work. She used a chunk of it and deposited the rest in the cooperative bank. Since she has no children to take care of her, she thought that this will be of some worth in her old age when she cannot work. She may need medicine. She may need the aid of somebody to assist her. Then she needed to give that person cash.And so she deposited the bills, the savings from her commissions in the bank. Many personages appreciated her in this regard. Particularly the bank manager. She also canvassed for the manager to get some huge accounts for the bank. She is powerful in a way. When the polls came, the candidates approached her to work for their party, as she knew many houses in that sector very closely and also the psychology of those people who inhabited the dwellings. Elders admired her because she kept the secrets of the families. She was a good matchmaker and many ladies solicited her support for the wedlocks of their sons and girls. Recently she got a groom for a lady’s daughter who was not getting a good alliance so far after years of search. This spread her fame as a matchmaker. In a way, she liked that reputation. But she did not get a good match herself so far. one fellow, she liked and he too liked her. He was a camion tailgater and went to other states in the truck. this was a good fellow, but later she found that he was a big drunkard. She did not like drunkards. Her father was one and she recalls how he used to beat her after the drinking sessions. Moreover, he had many bad companies and they would come at wrong times to call her father and he will go with them and never bothered about the family. this was a major grievance in her childhood and her father died at an early age leaving her mother alone with her. She was not given good grooming and her father’s vanguard was that women need not study much and studying more will make the ladies proud and a proud wife is not suitable for a family’s peace. strange notion, Stephanie thought to cover up his lapses. So Stephanie thought she will better remain a spinster than marrying a drunkard.So years passed and she became older and the grooms started to take little interest in her and her hairs started to gray, one, two, many more. but Stephanie was hopeful. She thought she could still do something for the society. she once toured a nursing home. She went to the ward of pediatrics and saw the crying children and felt sorry for them. It was rainy season and the roofs were leaking and some of the water went to the beds of the children who were already sick. The hospital staff was a matter of fact people. she barely saw a soul who stay together in the hospital after the assigned time. When their time is over, they cracked some jokes with their friends and left the hall. Stephanie found it quite bad and she went to the hospital many days and helped the parents of the children to give bottled milk or wash their small linen.She did it as a good way of action that will bring some peace to her mind.
3
The maid did not like those people who stood at the Plaza and passed comments on her while she went out and came from work. the main reason was that they had a habit of gazing She did not want to be a stuff for mere entertainment, and she always thought of the honor of a woman. Sometimes she met her teacher who was a great salutatorian into philosophical subjects and was a topper in the university band, a rich and influential man’s son and who went into a mountain cave for three years in the prime of his youth when all many good parents were thinking of getting their daughter married to him. But he was a nice man and the only difficulty was that he had no time to spare for her. The maid was happy with him. He took her very earnestly and also taught her to read and write English in his additional time.the maid was smart.She made timely ripostes. She was a good matchmaker. This quality came to her by accident. As she was good at keeping secrets of the families she worked, many ladies told her many secrets which they even did not tell their husbands and children, she was good at it. keeping secrets. So she did not tell any family’s tearjerker to another family. And the ladies trusted her and also gave her some private fortunes they saved from their work to deposit in the bank. She also had gnomish savings which she hoped will be good sum when she is past middle age. Then she may want wampum to medical expenses. She may need a money to keep a nurse for herself, as she has no immediate kith and kin. She needed money to travel to some pilgrim centers which act she had postponed till then. Now she is not getting much time. She goes from work to work, scarcely rests for six hours a day, on a regular basis. On Sundays, she will not go to any house for work. In the morning, she would attend the shrine nearby and hear the speech of the speakers. It is an open garden at the entrance of the town, where all sorts of meetings are conducted, political, cultural., religious, even some theatre and folk dances and orchestra. she went to that open park on Sundays. there is a pool nearby and it has a facility for ladies to take bath. a closed enclave very private, to take bath . It was in the early periods used by princesses of a particular dynasty, that ruled these areas and there were beautiful granite marbles and brick stone walls and the granite boulders will lead to the tarn where fishes will be playing. Anabas testudineus of umteen colours and sizes. The fishes, will touch the bottom of her feet while she took bath and it will tickle her and she will laugh thinking of the vagaries of these creatures.
4
Though she is a good matchmaker, she did not herself get wedded. Once she had associated somebody very close, it was a truck driver who went on driving trips taking cargos from a different state and she liked him. He also liked her she wanted to marry her but knew from some reliable sources that he is a big drunkard. Stephanie did not like drunkards. Because she remembers how her mother suffered because of her father who was a hard tippler. And an irresponsible man. But he bought her ‘vada” whenever he came from work, and she liked ‘vada’ very much, and it was from a good South Indian restaurant, and she ate four or five at a stretch because of its taste. Later she knew that too much consumption is not good for arteries, as it contained oil. This is made in coconut oil; boil the oil in a curved pan and you mix the flour in a good round, disc-like small configuration and put it in the boiling oil. You have to be very cautious lest the hot oil would splash and injure your body she liked this snack. And about his other habits, she was not otherwise happy with him, especially his treating his puerpera, and his card games and his friends who came to the house at odd hours to call him for the game of cards and they played for kale. Though the game with money was banned by law they gathered clandestinely in a house or shed or the enclave of the public amphitheater and played.So Stephanie did not like drunkards and she took a private oath that she will remain a spinster than mating such a sponge and destroy the calm of her life.

5

The maid was now moving in a fast space passing the fields and creeks and she was about to enter the marketplace and suddenly it poured. She was in a way flabberghasted by the swift invasion of drizzles and somehow managed to enter the front lobby of a textile shop. She had come to this place a few times, but not in the time of rain. what a glorious earth to receive sudden showers so that the brambles and trees and berries and the plants and shrubs will get water to keep them nourished. Moreover, the torrent when it pours down and hits the roof made a sound quite similar to the trumpets and she remembered her visit to the festival with her friend Kutty amma and she was crazy of bangles in that season. She had bangles of various colors, red, purplish and violet and golden and claret and black and she loved the splattering sound it made on her body. they were practically giggling all their way when she went to market and housework. that was only a few seasons. Later she became fed up with that. Now she wears bangles, only a few ones to decorate her hands in a minimal way.
Now as she was watching, the rain fell profoundly and many people struggled to enter the shop and in a short time, there was a big crowd at the entrance. The shopkeeper, in fact, did not like this, still, he did not tell anything, and he showed the irritable grimace on his face. After all, these are not the clients to purchase his goods, but characters, vulnerable and drifting in the rain, who hoped too much on the weather that it would not rain. This is the rainy season. Any time it will rain. Stephanie was not interested in the new changes, and she kept on gazing at the rainfall. Let it pour more heavily. Now the water in small puddles seeps into the spaces where she was standing. But it did not touch her. It was so close. it became vehement and it had a special music and coolness and a beauty that cannot be compared. Stephanie saw the heavens still expecting for further showers. It was visibly opaque and a small lightning sound was heard somewhere in the distance. Not near her. It was plumb far. It was goodly. The rain fell stupendously and she grooved on every drop of it.
….[From a work of FICTION in progress]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s