The foresaken maid
The helpless beggar woman
Ramia was lying on foot pavement on a busy streetr near a temple. She was some what sick and unable to move. Some kind person had covered her with a blanket, which was only help in chilly weather. she ate what passers by and the travelers visiting temple would would give her. She would spend her time just watching the visitors to the temple.
The past glory of Ramia
The memories of past were her asset. She was often lost in her glorious past. She was the only child of her parents. She was born somewhere in Bihar. She was married at the age of sixteen to Hari Ram, a carpenter. Hari Ram was employed in a para military organization and posted at Dibrugarh. She lived happily with him at Dibrugarh. A few years passed happily. One day, She got a message about her mother's sickness. So, she along with Hari Ram and her daughter left for native village. As Hari Ram had got only short leave, he left for his unit leaving her and the daughter behind. She never saw Hari Ram again. One day, she got the news that Hari Ram had been killed in a bomb attack by terrorists. She cried bitterly.
Her parents persuaded her to marry again as she was still quite young. She was married to a widower, namely Ram Singh, who owned a small restaurant at Patna. Ram Singh was a drunken. He would spend whatever he earned on drink and seldom give anything for household. Ramia began working parttime in many households. Her daughter also accompanied her. Ram Singh's only contribution was addition of one son and two daughtgers to the family. Naturally, her children could not get good education. One of her employers was a school manager and he helped education of her children up to primary level. She also got her son employed as a factory worker and married off her daughters with financial help of her employers.
One of her employers was a retired engineer. In his household were his wife, two married sons and four grandchildren. She worked parttime in his household. One of his sons was a government employee living at another station. The second son, namely Prakash, was a medical representative who often toured to other cities. Thus usually there would be in the house only the retired engineer, his wife, his daughter in law and the two small grand children. Ramia was very fond of the small children and helped getting them ready for school in the morning. As ill luck would have it, the engineer's wife fell critically sick and died. A few years later, his daughter in law met with an accident and died on the spot. Thus there was no woman left in the house. The grand children, namely Ravi and Sooraj were still too young and needed care. As they had been close to Ramia since their very childhood, they respected and loved her as if she were their own mother. The children had forgotten even the face of their mother. She gave up parttime job with all households and worked full time in engineer's home.
As years passed, Ravi and Sooraj completed their education with flying colors. Both were employed abroad. After some time they were married and lived abroad with family. Thus only the retired aging engineer and his widowed son lived in the household. The engineer was too old even to walk. Ramia was the only help to him. One day, the engineer fell critically sick and had to be hospitalized. He died in the hospital.
After death of the engineer, there was nobody in the house. Prakash, the medical representative son was normally away. Ramia had been given a room by engineer in the house. Prakash had never liked Ramia. He suspected that she was stealing things and had taken unfair adantage of his father. One day, he told her to leave and virtually dragged her out. Now she was also not so young and could not work. Her happy days had gone.
Foresaken: bad days begin
She left the engineer's house and went to railway station. She thought of moving away from Patna and entered a railway compartment. She did not even buy a ticket. she had even not decided where to go. She was deeply immersed in thoughts and fell asleep. On waking, she heard people saying that Tundla station had arrived. She left the station. Luckily nobody asked her about her ticket. As she was in torn clothes, the railway staff had taken her for a beggar woman and so let her go. She had no idea where to go. She just took seat in bus going to Agra. She had some money in her purse. She bought a ticket.
At Agra, she walked some distrance and fell unconscious. He had become too tired and had not eaten well for days. She had reached the doorsteps of a temple. On regaining conscience, she found many coins near her. Many temple goers would have considered her a beggar woman and so gave her coins. Those coming out of temple would also give her eatables and some money. Now she spent her days by using public facilities and eating what she got from temple visitors.
Reunion- Good days ahead
One day, she was fondly remembering her good old days. She heard some familiar voice. A young man came out of a car. He also went in the temple. The young man accidentally hurt her with his foot. This made her cry. The youngman was amazed to hear her and he said excitingly- Ramia auntie- is this you." She was also pleasantly surprised. She exclaimed- Ravi babua- you' as she would say.
Ravi said to Ramia- "Now I am employed in Agra. I have been missing you for so many years. Now you will always be with me."
In fact, Ravi and Sooraj remembered only Ramia as their real mom. It was she who looked after them in their childhood. Ravi sent a message to Sooraj also. Sooraj was working abroad. Ramia was no more a maid servant. Ravi and Sooraj both proved as good as real sons. The rest of life Ramia lived happily with Ravi, his wife and the children. The children were just her own grandchildren. Her good days had returned.
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