She came to me slowly and said “I am getting married”. I felt as if the sky crashed on me. How could she do this to me? How could she betray like this? How would I survive without her? Isn’t she supposed to be indispensable? I could feel a lump in my throat and my heart was beating fast. She understood my anxiety and tried to calm me. She said in her usual happy tone ‘Aunty, main kabhi kabhi milne aa jaungi’ (I will come and meet you once in a while). I just nodded in silence. Her words hardly consoled me. In my anxiety, I even forgot to congratulate her. My mind was busy racing and imagining a highly chaotic life without her. She is Swati, my housekeeper since last eight years, who was responsible for keeping my life organised.
Thanks to her, I had to never worry about anything in life (apart from EMI and blogging deadlines). She used to come sharp at 8am and take control of my house. She made sure that I got my special ‘sugarless, milk less, tea leaves less’ tea (Yes, you can make tea without tea leaves) as soon as I came back from my morning walk. Nobody on earth could prepare my tulsi and ginger tea like her. After making my tea she used to start making our breakfast and Lunch that we carried to work. And, breakfast and tiffin is not easy in my house because husband and I have completely different food choices. So, she always cooked two sets of food items for us. She never complained and made everything with a smile on her face.
My office colleagues loved the food I carried. It was always tasty and full of love. I hardly ate lunch from office canteen. Swati always took care of my various dietary restrictions. She always made my food separately without making it too spicy. I am restricted from eating sweet and if she ever saw me eating anything sweet she used to scold me.
She made the best curd rice and my husband often asked her to open a curd rice food stall. I personally loved her mooli ka paratha. My son loved her special cheese sandwich. My colleague A loved her bhindi bhaji. Swati knew that A was fond of her bhindi bhaji so she always ensured to pack some extra.
My father who lived with me was bed-ridden and Swati always made sure that he got food before all of us. His breakfast was simple oats and milk. She always went to his room with a cup of tea, oats, milk and the day’s newspaper. My dad always loved this gesture of compassion. Swati knew how to make a bed-ridden person happy.
My house is most of the time full of guests. She always took care of them. Guests often appreciate my house for being clean and organised. I should give the credit to Swati. Without her it would have been difficult for me to keep the house neat and tidy.
Swati was fond of music and she loved it when I sang. She always used to tell me that I should audition for some singing competition. I personally do not think I am such a great singer. It was her love that found my songs beautiful. She loved listening to the song from the movie MS Dhoni ‘Kaun Tujhe’. The days I used to be home she always requested me to play that song. Even though she was Telugu, she loved listening to the Bengali song ‘Kolkata’ and even could sing it. She was keen to learn English and I was her tutor. She was very sharp and picked up the language well.
She got married last month. My house seems empty without her laughter and songs. I miss her smiling face early in the morning. I miss talking and teasing her. I wish she stayed a little longer in my house. However, now that she is married, I wish her all the happiness in this world. This post is to thank her for being with me for so long. Hope she is able to read this. The photograph is from her wedding album. Isn’t she pretty?
I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words #6 Today’s prompt Share about a resource/s you have or use.