Last week, around 9pm, rather late, our maid calls. She’s talking about ticket numbers and computers. I have no idea what she’s talking about. Mam, my brother call you. He did a few minutes later, explaining that the results for the examination of 10th standard, the last mandatory year of school, have been released. They would like his wife’s results. [We will not comment here on the fact that a 30-year-old man recently married a 16-year-old girl]. It seems I am the only person they know who has internet access and I was very happy they felt comfortable enough asking me for this small favor. It only took me a few seconds to enter the correct keywords, the Department of Education of the state of Karnataka really made that easy. See, they can be efficient when they want!
What a wonderful feeling to call back after a few minutes to deliver the good news: she passed!
Now my job is to try and convince them that she needs to stay in school. She’s a girl, so it’s not considered important. From what I understand, she will be attending a three-month computer class and then go to work in an office. It’s progress I guess.
Today our maid shows up at the door all decked out in a beautiful beige and gold colored sari, flowers in her hair, and a smile to lit up the sky. Her son passed his PUC exam. 90%. She pulls a little piece of paper from her blouse with the marks scrolled carefully in pencil. She’s proud as a peacock and brought sweets to celebrate. She’s so relieved. Good marks mean he can get more scholarship money for engineering school. She says all her praying has paid off: her daughter passed, her sister-in-law passed, her son passed. There’s only one wish that hasn’t come true yet, so she runs to our puja room and does sit-ups in front of our Ganesh statue. Yes, sit ups! I tell her to stop but she insists it needs to be done in sets of 10!
I guess tonight I will exercise a little.