Few months ago Sandhya ( my house help ) was not just quite herself. She is a vibrant, lively, and jovial and not to overlook a bit educated as well. A self made, self motivated person, taking the challenges of life head –on. It was obvious that she was in desperate need of something, but was hesitant to ask for. I had to put in a bit of my talking skills to get the things out of her.
She has been doing the household work for past 17 years now (since she was 20 years!!), and it is taking toil on her health. The reason we all toil day in and out ourselves is for our family and children, she is no different than us, doing the same, the only difference is we are privileged enough to have white collar jobs and she isn’t.
She has done all that she could do for her children (both boys!!) and now was looking in for some good job for the eldest of her son. She was searching for that hand, which could help her to get a job for her son.
We worked out something for her son, helping her resolve the issues. A few days ago . son joined her in Muscat, (with a job in his hand).
Yesterday morning she asked what she could do in return for all the help that we had extended. As all of us would do in such sort of situation , I just smiled and said “ NOTHING AT ALL “, it was our pleasure , and we were happy that we could be of some help .
She had that look of concern and fret, she kept staring at me (with tears rolling down her eyes!) and said again “but I've got to do something to repay you”. Those look on her face, the feeling of not being able to pay me back struck me.
I could have one more time just said, the same what I had said before “nothing at all “. However, the look on her face, made me understand that she really wanted to give something in return for what she had received. I realized that the best way I could give anything to her was at this point was to accept her offer and say “YES “. By doing this at least I would make her feel honored, special wanted whatever you can say.!!
In that moment I just told her,” Do whatever you feel appropriate “
Finally she, smiled, agreed and started doing her work. For me the topic was over (at least for time being!!).
I received a call this morning ( I had thought of not answering the call as it was reflecting an unknown number ), but my mannerisms told me what so ever I should answer the call , you never know how important it can be !!!, to my surprise it was Sandhya’s son ,on the other side. He told me how well he was doing and how happy he was with the job.
While I was on the phone with him, the door bell rang, when I opened the door Sandhya was sending right in front of me with a BIG BOX and A BAG in her hand.
She said “How grateful she was and they just wanted to say thank you with a little something. And she handed me the box and a bag.
I was very uncomfortable and again mumbled the same thing that you don’t have to do this and so on and so forth...
Sandhya has been with me since past 2 years now and she knows my biggest passions are books and cakes. I took the box, it did not take me a minute to realize it was “A CAKE “and the bag contained A BOOK!!!!!
I was touched, here she was aware of how I appreciated both these things and here I was totally astounded..!!!!
When you do something for someone else (intention less to get something in return) they feel obligated to do something back. You can term it as “Law of Reciprocation “. By giving her the chance to give something back for what we had done for her, boosted her worth. I presume it made her feel better about herself and more worthwhile.
Is it better for us to receive than give in a situation like this? Yes, I guess by receiving you give more than you can imagine.
As far as I am concerned, this incident, of this day, has left me … SPEECHLESS!!!