Friday, May 3, 2013

Dare to dream! : My entry for Chicken Soup Series

This is my entry for Chicken Soup for the Indian entrepreneurs soul

I was looking for a house help.

My mind took some time to register that she was my new maid. She wore jeans and top. Carried a mobile with an earphone. And she had a nice haircut.

Kajal was about twenty three. She worked nicely but it looked really weird and sometimes funny when she cleaned the floor wearing tight jeans. Or talked on earphone while washing utensils. I was puzzled why she worked as a maid?

“Do you work anywhere else as a house help?” I asked one day.

“Yes bhabhi, I work at one more place.” Kajal said washing the utensils. “If I won’t work, no one would give me a single meal.” She mumbled after a pause.

“Why?” I was startled to hear this.

“You know bhabhi, my mother had forcibly married me off with a mad man, six years back. My in-laws treated me like servant. All my married sister-in-laws lived there. I had to manage all the household chores single-handedly. No one helped me. I tried to adjust there but what about my happiness and desires?" She was saying in a flow and I was listening, feeling pity for her.

"So," She was not done yet. "I left my husband. That house. My mother forced me to stay there. But I Couldn't. Since then my mother hates me.When I returned back, my mother said she can’t bear my expenses and I had to earn. I’m not educated so there was no choice but work as a maid.”

“It’s okay. Work is work. We should not consider any work small.” I tried to lift her spirit. I had to admit that she was brave enough to take a bold step of getting out of an unwanted marriage. Even some educated women tend to stay in a bad marriage for the sake of their parents, sometimes children and above all society.

“But my dreams are big.” She said, arranging the plates. I said nothing and busied myself in some other work.

The other day, I was talking to my husband. I said I need to go to the parlor for facial and waxing. Next day, Kajal came to me after work and it seemed she wanted to say something.

“Do you want to say something?” I asked.

“Yes bhabhi. I can do facial and waxing. I charge less than parlors. Try me once. Don’t give me any money.” She said.

I was surprised. She was kidding or what. “How come you do facial and waxing?”

“I worked at Shalini didi’s place. She is a beautician and owns a parlor. I learned from her. Mostly by watching her work. I worked at her place for free. I helped her in the parlor for free. I don’t want to work as a maid whole life.” I recalled when she said “My dreams are big.”

She did my facial with absolute dedication and she indeed charged less than parlors. “Bhabhi…I’m good at eyebrows. Trust me. Shall I?” She asked with slight hesitation.

Generally, I’m very particular about my eyebrows and I don’t handover it to any random beautician. But I was surprised that I allowed her.  I noticed she was good at convincing.To my utter relief, she actually made a fine eyebrow.

“Kajal, are you expert in hair-cutting also.” I asked just like that.

“No bhabhi, I’m still learning. Get your hair done in a parlor. I won’t lie. I’m not good at it.” I liked her honesty.

“Why don’t you open your own parlor?” I asked one day.

“It needs money bhabhi.” She said smiling and I scolded myself for asking such a silly question. “You know bhabhi…” She continued. “Sometime back, I had started my own beauty parlor in partnership with one of my friends.”

I was listening with interest. “I put my money in it. We were new. We need to be patient but my friend gave up and we had to close the parlor. Too much money was wasted.” She said thoughtfully and I could not resist praising her insight inwardly.

Days went on. I was happy that I didn't need to go to the parlor, at least for regular facial, waxing and eyebrow.

One day she came very late in the morning. Actually it was close to afternoon when she arrived. I got really frustrated because we don’t have scope to waste time in the mornings.

“Why you have arrived so late Kajal?” I asked hiding my irritation.

“Actually, there’s a didi who called me for facial. I thought I can make some money.” She said sheepishly. I could sense a desire to work hard and earn. But my household chores are also important.

Gradually, it had become her habit. Bunking my work and go to earn money. Of course it was good for her but what about my work? 

“Why don’t you join a beauty parlor as a worker? You’ll learn and earn at the same time.” I said one day. If she doesn't have time for my work then better leave. I thought. I was really annoyed.

“No bhabhi. Now I don’t want to do a job. They don’t give nice salary and I will have to work according to their wish. I want to do something of my own. I know there are small works but I hope to make it big. I hope someday I get an order of bridal make-up or multiple works in marriages. Or maybe I can open my own parlor. Without any partnership this time.” She smiled. I liked her passion but my work was suffering. I sighed. Sigh of exasperation. Sigh of resignation. Getting a nice house-help is a tough task you know.

She repeated her vanishing act and late arrival quite often. She made some personal and family excuses. I couldn't say anything but I was getting frustrated. But she was soft spoken and worked nicely that I didn't want to be rude.

It was 12:30 p.m.and she was nowhere to be seen. One glance at loads of work, and my anger started to brew. Suddenly my phone buzzed. It was Kajal. This time I was prepared to vent my anger on her. As I picked up the phone, she started talking without giving me any chance to speak.

“Bhabhi, I won’t be able to come today.” She informed. ‘What a breaking news it is!.’ I thought irritably.


“Someone has called me for facial. Three facials and waxing!" She was chirruping. "And you know bhabhi today in the evening I'm going for a bridal make-up with Shalini didi!  This wedding season I hope to earn good. It’s good, isn’t it?”

She was expecting me to be happy for her “Yes.” Don't know why but I didn't want to disappoint her. 

I looked at the heap of dirty utensils in the sink helplessly. But I smiled. I was happy that she was rising. She dared to dream, worked hard and she was approaching her big dream gradually.

I wish to get my story published in Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneurs Soul in association with


  1. Nice story and it is very rare for a person to let her maid dream and do as she desire. I applaud both for kajal and the protagonist.

  2. Wow what a heart touching tale!

    Inspiring really...

  3. Woww Beautiful Write Up Tarang :)Kajal Proved Her Dare to Dream!!!! Totally A Inspirational Write Up :) Wish You All The Very Best Success For Blogadda.

  4. Excellent Beautiful Write Up Tarang! Totally A Inspirational Write up, Wherein Kajal Proved Dare to Dream!!!!!

  5. All I can say you are a very good person at heart and very brave too...:)<3 :D

  6. Interesting to read.If it is a real thing you own a very broad heart.

    1. Broad heart...maybe. But it's sometimes very irritating!:)

  7. Wow, that's a wonderful write-up. Good luck for the contest. Just curious though, what inspired you to write this?

  8. I read your story 2 days back and I really loved it. Some people have that fire in them to succeed, no matter what their circumstances are. All the very best Tarang :)

  9. I absolutely love these kind of stories, we al watch these women work so hard and sometimes realise for no fault of their own but in the end we would be happy if they did better (though household chores would be left that is a pain :P :P)

  10. she is GOOD, she is BAD, she is Kajal...the girl who inspires the people who dream and dare to make their dream come true...:)

  11. I hope she is closer to having her big dreams come true. I appreciate your honesty too, Tarang. Lovely story.

  12. Glad you liked this post, Corinne. Thanks for reading.