Equal, not equal?
A weekday. The owner's housewife was busy as a beaver with the household errands. I grabbed a magazine from the cradle poised against the wall. My feet groundward the sofa, with legs lethargically crossed , eyes heedfully glued to the magazine. The maid asked " Didi, raise your feet, I need to clean the floor underneath ". I settled back raising my feet and took a second glance at the maid . She has been working there for three years and still a kid. My mind suddenly tossed me back to a childhood memory. I was 5 then and my dad made me put a tail on all tables. By tables I mean, addition, subtraction, multiplication... bla bla. In order to put my academic future on firm footing, he made me memorize those tables to be able to answer back at the tip of my tongue,well everyday. Sometimes when I could not answer, I got two or three punches and an ear-pull. It ached. Once, my father made me sit on his lap after getting back from work and started asking me the multiplication table. Down on luck,I spent the entire evening playing with my neighbours and forgot to memorise the table he assigned me. I was shivering on the inside, as a cool breeze replaced my body heat. Cowered in the corner, eyes wide with alarm of getting beaten up, voice unable to pop off, I suddenly caught sight of our maid( back then) leaning against the door ,few feet behind my father gesturing some figures . It was showing 14 by fingers as I counted. Something made me feel I should tell this number to what my father asked. I did. Dad smiled and moved on to asking the subsequent questions,of course shuffling them. I felt like a snug as a bug in a rug. Eased in mind ,whatever he asked, I pretended to look at the other side and spit out whatever my maid was showing me. Well that game was phenomenal. Folks, I didn't want to share my amusement here. What I wanted to share is the way my maid responded with fingers. She was a kid like me, and when my father told me to memorise these tables, she took out her time to do it for herself too,though without us knowing it. May be she was scared of letting us know that she had been studying books too. Had she been flagged on a proper platform ,she would have risen to great heights. These people are deprived of education facilities. Due to lack of money and honour, they lose on the prior formalities of life. I took amusement in the game then but now I realize , only if she could go to school with me, she would have certainly hit the jackpot. They are inside a vicious whorl , longing but incapacitated to put up with the world beyond their labyrinth. They just need one loophole to catch up with all of us and sound off as equal. If they could labour toiling tough performing manual chores, aren't they equal enough to receive education?
"Didi, could you shift to the other side, I have to rub the dirt off the sofa" . "
I shifted , my mind still marooned with the same turbulent thoughts, stuck with such grievous prejudices.