I was lazy to get up from my bed. Lying comfortably with my phone in my hands, it didn’t matter to me as to who was waiting on the other side of the door. Getting up to open it seemed like a burdensome job. Anyhow, after a few seconds, as if to answer the persistent knocks I got up and harshly opened it. Standing in front of me was the cleaning lady who shows up every week. The warden was sure that if cleaning wasn’t done at least once a week, then soon the hostel would become an inhabitable place.
With a mop in one hand and a bucket in another she stood in front of me with a drawn face. She had dirty wet towels clutched between her fingers. Sweating badly and unable to swipe the perspiration off her face, she was waiting for me to let her inside. Behind her stood a little person with two wide eyes, smiling at me. I let them inside so that she can finish her job and leave. The child settled on a chair. As the lady started mopping the floor, I went back to my busy virtual world. I was sitting engrossed in what I was doing that I lost track of the time. After a few minutes a loud wail brought me back to my senses. The child was crying. She was crying because she was hungry. She was nudging her mother, pulling her hair and doing whatever she could to stop what she was doing. The lady was not heeding her at first, but eventually chided her and made her silent and then continued with her job. I began to observe her. She was doing her duty with utmost involvement as she cleaned each corner and nook. Neither did she take break in between nor did she go behind her three year old who was sitting succumbed to hunger. By the time she finished cleaning both the room and the bathroom her clothes were wet and she seemed very tired. Picking up the mop and other things, she left the room with her daughter, after giving me a weary smile, only to clean more filthy rooms…
While I was lethargic enough not to even get up from my bed, that lady was ready to sweat for daily wage to keep the pieces of her life together.
This is just one soul. There are many like her who are ready to do anything to fill their children’s stomachs, to have at least one decent cloth, to have a shelter over their head, to live a life.
These are the souls who clean your toilet to have a square meal. These are the lives who bathe your dog while you sit comfortably in your air conditioned office. These are the hands that pick up stinking garbage from the roads so that we can have a green environment.These are the human faces that you look with disgust and ward off. These are the people who are the part and the pariah of the society at the same time.
You might ask the question whether there is no worth for what each one of us does. Nothing makes us less worthy than them. But if you ask yourself whether you are willing to do what they do, I am sure none of us will agree with full heart. The irony is very much evident here.
Shouldn’t we actually respect them instead of naming them as outcast?
If you think what differs you from them is your possessions, then don’t fail to recall the fact that it doesn’t even take one second for everything to come to an end. There is no meaning in taking pride in this wealth that could become someone else’s tomorrow, hence there is no meaning in stamping others down based on this transitory pride.
We ought to remember that we are all same at the core. There is no ugly, no pretty, no rich, no poor.