It happens again just like the other days. Mithee pushes her curly black hair behind her ears and bends down to look at the stitches. The stitches have to be neat and accurate. Tomorrow they will be shipped as designer jeans to Canada and USA. That is what she heard from her boss. Satisfied with the outcome she lifts her head, stretches her small hands towards the ceiling, then to the back and straightens her aching back. As she gets up from her chair the supervisor comes. He adjusts his silver framed eye- glass, bends over to the long table and checks all the fifty pairs of jean pants lifting one after another. He stands straight and says in a gravely, “ You have done a good job and before you leave pick up your money from the clerk at the downstair office”. Mithee counts and carefully leaves the money inside her old, overly patched small hand bag.She pushes the heavy wooden door with all her strength and steps out.
Outside, evening shadows are falling; the sun is low in the west and the breeze is soft. A few birds squat on the side of the road pecking on scraps, while in the sky a dozen sail towards their nest. Mithee walks slowly her head slightly bend towards one shoulder, her small tired hands dangling down. She is almost ten but the workload is too heavy for her. But her eyes are sharp, intelligent and full of hopes. As she walks on the long dirt road full of wriggling vines, trees, the causal wheelbarrow faintly rotten towards her house, out of the trail of her eyes she notices the pretty purple and white flowers in one of the dense bushes to the side of the road. She stops. A chord of delight strikes inside her.This will be perfect gift to bring smile on her mother’s face.
Just before the crossing the last street to the house Mithee stops. The beautiful sound of the violin from the radio that floats out from the stores and scatters in the air outside. Mithee stands leaning against the wall of the store, closes her eyes. She puts an imaginary violin to her shoulder and softly caresses it with a phantom bows. Through her closed lips she makes a humming noise which she vaguely imagines resembles the sound of the violin.Suddenly the music stops. Mithee opens her eyes, moves away from the store. She feels the warm sap of emotion being pumped through her body. She smiles and continues her walk.
It is almost seven in the evening. Mithee walks into her small clay house. There is no door, instead just a long dark beige color torn cloth hangs there. She runs ,hugs her mother and presents her the beautiful flowers. A general air of happiness falls and settles. Her mother raises her eyebrow in astonishment and touches the delicate petals of the flowers with her pale fingers in deep appreciation.“ Beautiful! Thank you. But where were you? It is so late!” Then she knows her daughter; her likes and dislikes. She smiles warmly and says “Go wash your hands and come to eat.”
Mithee remembers something. She turns back and gives the money to her mother. Her mother adjusts the candle. She counts, wipes her tears and hides the money in an envelope under the pile of clothes in one corner of the room.She does not want her little girl to work for money. After her husband’s death Mithee started to work to help her mother and two siblings. And her mother has high hope and determined that one day she will send Mithee to a school.
Evenings are always enjoyable for Mithee.She pulls out her small note pad and a pencil and settles herself on the floor. Her imaginations start to shuffle through her brain. She bends down and starts writing; ‘The story of a princess’. Her creativity is her best prized possession.