The Poor Maid.


A few weeks prior, we had gone out to one of the malls. The plan was to have dinner there and then come back. There is a food court there which gets very busy during weekends. Also because you can select many options without really burning a hole in your pocket.

We managed to find a table. We ordered some food and as we were having our dinner, I could see that next to us was a family of 6 having their meals. With them was a maid, who had perhaps yet not stepped into her teens.

The family of six comprised of a couple and their 2 not so small boys and an elderly couple, presumably the grandparents. They looked quite well off, enjoying their meals. The kids were munching on KFC chicken and seemed quite happy.

What caught my eye was the maid whom I had written about a few lines back. She was sitting in the extreme corner. As the others were happily gobbling down their food as if this is the last meal of their lives, the poor maid was not given anything to eat. She was just their sitting and staring blankly at the crowd coming in or going out.

She would occasionally steal a glance as to what the others were having and that was just it.

In front of her was a plate where things that were not being consumed, like bones, were kept.

I gently prodded my wife to have a look at what was going on. We just stared at each other in disbelief.

We have all lived through the age when the mere site of food made you hungry. There were days when the fridge used to be locked and the keys hidden away, for the shelves would be cleared up in no time! Couldn’t the parents of the chicken gobbling kids realize that?

For like most of you, I have come from a very humble and modest background. We may not have had much money, but as like most of us, our parents have taught us the basics of humanity. One of them was sharing whatever you had to eat. There was never a day that I would get preferential treatment and others would be given less. We were happy with whatever we had. The most deprived would probably be our mother, for she would want us and the others to have the best. When I grew up, I really used to feel very angry at this. But she would never oblige. She would want the best for others.

Couldn’t the parents on that table on that day spare a small meal for the kid? They could. But then, why not? When I look back, I realize that the defect or the lack of humbleness and humility had started with the grandparents. This has been taught to their sons and daughters and will soon be preached by the grandchildren. I just can’t imagine that I eat and the person sitting next to me doesn’t because he can’t afford. I am not a saint, neither you are, but that’s what has been taught to us.

As I slowly age, I have started realizing that the world is not as straight as it seems to be. But let me tell you one thing. If you can imagine things straight, the world for you would be a better space. How you shade or color your dreams and thoughts depends on you entirely. Whether you choose the color black or a multitude of bright colors is your choice.


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