Breaking the Law
Think about the last time you broke a rule (a big one, not just ripping the tags off your pillows). Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?
Amber enters through the glass door into the Four seasons hotel with her sleek black handbag in one hand and the laptop in the other hand. Her pigtail swings like a cheerful jump-rope.She waves her hand to all the staffs with a big smile and walks into her office. Today is a very busy day for her as the oil and gas convention will start in a few days and she has to stock and arrange the whole store for the International guests. Amber gently touches the petal pink peonies that spills out from the corner vase like a mist rising over wind-swept dunes. She walks around the store with her I-pad and takes note of all the merchandise. She enjoys this beautiful store with decorated glass windows, white and grey marble floor, cherry wood shelves with all expensive gift items, luxurious , earth friendly products of Gilchrist & Soames, Bliss skin care and aromatherapy products from’ Lather’ company, designer dresses, perfumes, bestseller fictions and non-fictions. Amber stretches her hand to one of the higher shelve and tries to rearrange the new books. Suddenly the door opens with a chime and Amber turns her head back towards the door to see a man in medium height, a black mustache, with a Blue t-shirt, a jean pant, both hands in his pant pocket walks into the store.
‘Good morning’! says Amber with a smile to welcome the guest and, then remembers seeing him in the previous day in the hotel lobby.
”Good morning mam! May I look around”, he asks with a smile.
”Sure.Please and if you need any help then feel free to let me to know”, replies Amber then she turns around to arrange the books. Something is not right, there is a kind of artificial, sad smile on the face of the guest which makes Amber pauses and turns her head to look at the gentle man. He stands near the stacks of magazines and just flips his fingers through the pages, but his face shows as if he is in a different world, in deep thought. Amber adjusts her eyeglass, walkssoftly towards the guest and, gently asks him if she can help him with anything. He glances up with wide eyes, then looks down, and slides the magazine back on the shelve. He opens his mouth to speak, then stares down at his hand, to the glass windows and towards the door. His forehead is shaded with a heavy cloud, lips are sealed in an expression of sadness. He clears his throat and moves closer to Amber. He asks” Are you from India?”
”Yes. Why? Are you?”
”Yes. I am, he says. Then he leans a little closer. His eyes begin to glisten. He tries to hide the tears, and looks around as if he checks the surrounding.Then he asks, “Do you think you can help me out?”
Amber was surprised to hear that from a guest, in a five-star hotel and clearly remembers the rules. But now she is more eager to know about this person. Amber ask the guest to follow her to her office,asks him to seat on a chair and closes the office door. She assures him that he can share his problem with confidence.She listens to his story.
‘My name is Adi and I am from a very poor family from a small village in North India. I have a wife, four children, and almost seventy years old parents. I looked for a good paying job but could not, he sighs. One day when I was buying vegetable from the store, I overheard the name of an agency who can provide job. So I took the phone number ,called up the agency , signed the contract to go to another country as a driver where food, clothing will be free, they will pay a good sum of salary fifteen days off in a year. That sounded perfect to me so I signed the contract without telling my family. I started getting butterflies on my stomach hearing this good news. That evening after a day of hard labor, on my way to home I went straight to the market. A fresh watery evening. The turf and paths were rustling with moist grass. From the road side stall I purchased a red car, a beautifully dressed doll. That evening I suddenly fell in love with the grounds under my feet, air over the head and everything I touched. I walked back home to give the good news but my family did not want me to leave the country. They wanted us to stay together in one place. But I had to, yes I had to. I wanted to shower my family with a little comfort and with happiness: good food, medical treatment, clothes and education for my kids. The night before I left India, I buried my face deeper under a pillow but could not sleep. I had too many wonderful dreams which were floating and taking shapes in my head. I woke up in every half an hour to check the time. Around early morning I walked slowly to my parent’s bed and sat there for a while on their side. Hopefully I will see them soon. I was a little scared too but, I am a man and I have to be brave. Next morning I packed my bags with two shirts, one toothbrush, a small tube of paste, one pant with a big hole on the corner on the left pocket, a comb. Before I leave we hugged each other. My dad was sitting on the front porch flushed and gloomy. My wife had tears on her lashes and my children did not know what to say. I turned around couple times to look at their faces. And they were still standing at the doorsteps, wiping their tears. I was there hope, their dream. Everything was arranged and I left India.
Once I arrived there the agency took me to a beautiful house of a rich family. where I have been working for ten years now. And soon I found out that I am not only their driver but also I have to do any type of job that they want me to do. There is no time to rest, they give some money to send back to home but not what they promised. I do not have any contact with my family.Even they have my passport so that I can not go back to my country. They are visiting here in business and I am here with them. I want someone to help me out. I want to go back to my country, to see my parents, my kids. Please I beg you, help me.’
Amber is speechless. Her heart squeezes momentarily with pain. She walks to standby the small window, bits her tongue hard and blinks back her tears. This is just slavery, torture, nothing else, she murmurs. She closes her eyes and attempt to hear an inner voice. She turns around and looks at Adi.
“Let me think about this and, tomorrow I will give a phone card and a number for an attorney whom you can call about helping you in this situation.” Then Amber bends down on desk and writes down Adi’s room number on a pad.
Adi thanks Amber and promises to see her the next say. Amber has to break the rules of the hotel. She is not allowed to , may be suspend from her job but she is determined to help Adi out.