Enterprising soul

Right In The Middle


A tiny animal pronounces a profound message “Hakuna Matata” in the animated film ‘Lion King’. This, he says “I be happy — no worries”.

We, urban bodies learn it the hard way, sometimes with a little nudge here and there. It takes quite an effort to let the ‘pleasure principle’ dictate terms in fashioning one’s needs, goals and luxuries. Yet I saw this unfold in the life of a lady whose services I inherited. Let me call her Rajamma. She came to me a decade ago, well-trained, well, almost, by my mother. Her duty is to keep the floors clean and this she achieves in 10 minutes flat every morning.

Let me list her former decisions. She had put up with her husband’s violent ways before she threw him out on a rainy night. She met my questions with stoic silence and showed the cigarette burn marks on her back and stomach. After this event she increased her employers from two to four and sailed along.

A few years ago, her family settled property matters. Being astute, she positioned herself in her village home and returned with a sizable amount of cash. After opening a bank account she got in touch with a senior, kindly real estate agent and bought herself a single bedroom house in a lovely residential locality. Since she had matched the purchase amount with a little personal loan from an employer, she has rented her house to bachelor software engineers.

She hopes to move into the house herself, the moment she clears the loan. Neighbours, television, the cellphone and what she observes keenly have shaped her lifestyle into something very simple, yet elegant.

A couple of months ago, she sought permission to come in a little late for a week as she had to go elsewhere between 7 and 8 am. I nodded my consent and promptly forgot about it. Two weeks later, with a triumphant smile she initiated a conversation to explain her accomplishment. She had enrolled herself in a driving school and had obtained a license to drive a car! “Why?” I asked. “Just to get a feel of it and besides, you may need a chauffeur in the near future,” she quipped.

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