Friday, February 17, 2012

Alice Ayah - Remembering A Mother Figure

Alice Ayah - Remembering A Mother Figure    

When I was in my teens, my married sister had left her 3 month old baby with us and had gone to visit her husband in London. Thought there were plenty of servants, my mother wanted to keep a proper ayah for the little baby. After looking for one, for quite sometime, we finally came across Alice. She was in her early forties, hefty and strong looking. After being employed, she took complete charge of the small boy. She was very strict about looking after the baby. He had fixed hours of massage, bath, sleep, food and play. None of us were allowed to disrupt the routine of the dear little baby. My mother was very impressed by Alice and the way she looked after the baby.

I remember I was quite in awe of Alice and tried to keep away from her and the baby too. One day, the baby was sleeping peacefully and I was trying to iron my dress in the adjoining room. Alice came inside and said - "Leave it Missy Baba, I will do it." I was quite surprised and left the work to her. She happily finished ironing all my clothes and wanted to know if there were more to be done. Since that day, we became friends and whenever she was free, she used to oil my hair and made plaits for me. She also used to cook tasty dishes for us in her free time while the baby was with my mother or father.

In the evenings, she would dress the little boy in smart clothes and take him to the nearby park in his pram.


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