The BAD Break-up

By Kalamwali in Experiences
Updated 17:01 IST Jun 21, 2017

 

Most of the Art, Literature, Poetry, Creativity in the world has stemmed out of Love, and the rest of it, out of break-ups. That too, the difficult ones. The depth of art and creativity is directly proportional to the quantum of the hurt caused by a heart break. As the founder of Kalamwali, I witness pieces every day that tell me stories of scars, wounds, hurt, pain etc.

Writing is a great way to nullify or at least nurse the wounds. Plus, the writer gets to tell the world what exactly happened without being tagged a tattletale. Today, I intend to do just that. Here I am nursing a break-up and licking my wounds. I am not a poetess but this incident might just bring poetry out of me. For now, the story.

Three years ago, on a rushed morning, rang the doorbell. I rushed to answer it irritatingly as my toddler was in the middle of making designs out of the cereal she had dropped on the table. Clenching a napkin in one hand, I opened the door with the other. There that person was. Standing with a smile. Naturally my mouth curved into a smile too. “Namaste” she said to me in a low but sweet tone. “My name is ^%##@%& and I have been sent by your cook. She told me you were looking for full time help.”

I had a sudden pang of excitement. Something inside me did a little dance. Finding a full-time help who actually lands at your doorstep, is like an uncashed cheque that lands into your arms. Maintaining a charming smile and a graceful decorum I bombarded her with questions. Amidst the questions, I offloaded some doubts and subtly told her the dos and don’ts. After what felt like flowery interrogation, I asked her to join from the following day.

And that’s how it all began. From then on, it was never looking back. How perfectly had her abilities harmonized with my expectations. She understood cleanliness, hygiene and communication skills. She knew that a cup of tea had to come with a coaster; my daughter’s snack box with a napkin, hand sanitizer and wet wipes. How fruits needed to be cut neatly and presents needed to be wrapped prettily.  She was a voracious reader and also helped my daughter with her homework if need be. She was the best photographer I know and gave me most of my profile photos. She understood a teal from a sea green, a royal blue from a cobalt blue and sky blue from a powder blue. A peach from a pink too. She knew the pleasure of sleeping in ironed pajamas and that of finding shoes from the right shoe covers.

Her smartness made me push her to complete her graduation. But she chose to learn sewing instead. My mom gave her enough fabric to experiment with. She promised us she would do it more seriously and one day become a noted designer.

My daughter always asked her if she had eaten. Always kept aside treats to share with her. Wrote her name when she listed family members. I made sure she got her generous share of ice creams and chicken dishes when we went out (even though I am a strict vegetarian) because she had grown up a meat eater and loved it immensely. I shielded her from people who called helpers, servants and treated them that way.

She gained enormous popularity amongst family and friends. So much so that everyone always made it a point to ask me about her if she weren’t around and ask her if she had a sister who would be willing to work. Everything was perfect for almost 3 years.

This summer, like every summer she booked her tickets to go see her family at the village. Something inside me made me uncomfortable. I kept asking her if everything was okay and she was coming back on the stated date. She reassured with a smile and said she would give me a 6-month notice period and also help me train my next helper. More so because she was very attached to my daughter and wanted her to be in the right hands. Teary eyed and with a hefty bonus she left.

I personally enjoy doing chores and baby work. Plus, now that my daughter is 6, she’s in the phase of doing everything on her own and dislikes being treated like a baby. So, the one month danced past us. But as a mother, supervision is my birth right and a good supervisor, my super power. With growing workload and juggling time to get everything done perfectly, I started counting days for her return. On the given date, I received her call. My heart fluttered. When I answered, she said in a very low voice, “didi, I am very unwell. I am going to need some more time to recover”. With a heavy heart and tremendous worry for her, I told her she could have as much time as she wanted. And in fact, she should come back to the city and let me look after her and her medical expenses. She quaintly said her mother wouldn’t want her to leave until she was better and somewhere the mother in me resonated.

Praying for her health and her return, I went through another month of being overworked. Finally, one day I sent her a text enquiring about her health and her return. Text because I had made umpteen number of unanswered calls to her already. After a day, I received a text saying she was okay but she wasn’t returning.

Upon reading that, my heart sank. In one line, she told me it was over. No reasoning, no explanation, no consideration. I sent her a couple of texts which yielded no replies. That was it I told myself, she has left us. The smarter side of me told myself that it was okay. She needed to move on and so did we maybe. A very dear friend told me that all helpers came with an expiry date. And somewhere I wanted to believe it. But maybe all I needed was a rightful closure to accept this gracefully; so that I could wish her well with all my heart. And I could move on too. If only she understood the importance of a closure. Maybe she will, if she ever experiences a real heart break.

On a more positive note, I hope she does become a designer and that too a successful one, as she once promised me.

- Kalamwali

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