Sunday, 10 March 2013

HOUSEHOLD HELP



Kamla



My husband has given me the life I have never dreamed of.  I was disappointed when the driver/ household helper did not pan out.  Things do happen for a reason.  Yesterday Ram, with my blessing hired a servant. Her salary, 3000 Rupees or $60.00 USD/month. I hear that is good money for this area.    Kamla is a mountain girl that was born in a village a half hour walk from our cottage.  She works 9 AM to 5 PM seven days a week.  We offered her a day off.  She said she will tell us if she needs one.  She does everything from the cooking to cleaning as well the wash.  She is sweet always laughing and smiling.  She has two school age children, a three year old and husband who works a night security job.  She wants to work to provide a better life for her children.  At home she cooks on an open wood fire but knows her way around my kitchen and how to use my gas stove just fine.

We were lucky enough to find her through another domestic woman working here in our community.
Interestingly enough, the night of Kamla's first day with us, this woman and her husband knocked on our door stating do not trust Kamla or her children.  It seemed strange since it was she who recommended Kamla in the first place.  The next morning this woman was again at our door stating she wanted to work for us.  Ram told her we were very pleased with Kamla and her work and we had no interest in making a change.  Kamla arrived to work a bit early wondering if she still had a job with us.  Her "friend" had called her that morning telling her that we no longer wanted her and that we would send her days’ pay.  We told Kamla we were pleased with her work and we would tell her if she made a mistake so she could correct it.  We will never let her go without telling her or giving her a reason.  At that point tears streamed down her face.

Kamla and I have had many interesting conversations using sign language, English and some form of Mountain Hindi.  I'm not sure if we were always on the same topic but our conversations have been lively and full of laughter.  At the same time we do not cross the line between employee and employer.

Today is Maha Shivratri, a holy day for Hindus. Since it is a holy day we decided to let Kamla go early if she wanted.  Naturally she took us up on the offer.  Kamla indicated she was going to the temple with her family after work.  Ram said she was going to ask for a long employment with us.  I am glad she is happy.