I was seven years old when my mother got a job for me. I had to go to this baji’s house to play with her children. These were summer holidays and the children were home. Baji was a working woman so she needed someone to take care of her children when she was away. My mother was working there and one day when I was visiting with my mother she offered me a job as well.
She told me that my job will be to play with the kids and after playing put the toys and all other things on the proper places. In the beginning I was not happy. I had asked my mother many times that I also want to go to school like other children but my mother always said that there is no need for me to study rather I should learn to do household chores. She never agreed on sending me to school.
I was angry with my mother, I cried and cried and told her that I don’t want the job but want to go to school and study and become a teacher when I grow up. My mother tried to make me understand that I should not say the things which are not possible but I kept repeating my demand. In the process my mother hit me as well. I kept crying and went to sleep without eating anything.
Next day my mother changed my clothes, washed my face and took me with her to the baji’s house. Baji’s kids were very nice and beautiful. They gave me every toy to play and also taught me to play with the electronic toys. I liked them and decided to continue my job as their playing mate. I also ate food on the dining table as they wanted me to do so. The first day with them was the best day of my life, although I was a bit scared also.
When the teacher of the kids came and they started doing their homework they wanted me to sit with them and do my homework. The teacher allowed me to sit there and write something with copy and pencil. I told him that I do not know how to write a I have never been to school. The kids were astonished to hear this. They gave me a copy and pencil and asked their teacher to teach me as well. The teacher told me how to write Alif and I wrote a full page and also learned the alphabet by heart. The kids seemed very happy at this while this time my mother was scared.
When Baji came back the kids told her about their day and what they have been doing and that they liked me to be their play mate. After sometime Baji called me asked how I liked the day and am I ready to do the job. I immediately said yes and then she asked me whether I like studying. I said yes again and told her that I want to go to school like other children but my mother does not allow me to do so. Baji said that she will think about it and will let me know tomorrow or day after.
I started dreaming about going to school. In my dreams I wore the clean uniform and was holding a beautiful school bag, all the teachers liked me as I learned everything quickly but these were dreams only. I reached home had food and went to sleep.
Next morning I got ready quickly and had breakfast with my mother. My mother was happy that I am ready to do the job. She took me with her to Baji’s house. Baji was ready for the office and gave some instructions to my mother and left for office. I was feeling anxious about baji’s decision. I started helping my mother and then suddenly the kids were there and my mother was making breakfast for them. They wanted me to join them but I was not hungry.
When Baji came home from her job she told me her planning about my studies. Her plan was that I should study at home for one year and learn the basics, and after that she will try to admit me in school. She was of the view that I am too old for class one and after studying for 1 year at home I may be able to get admission in class 2 or 3. I agreed with this plan and asked her who will teach me at home. She said that she will talk to the tutor and he will teach me.
So I kept on studying with the kids for one year. After one year she took me to a government school and they gave me a test. I did very well and they offered me admission in class 5. Baji was very happy for this and after that I started going to school, then doing my homework and playing with children. Everything went very well and after working hard for many years with the help of Baji and her kids I did my BA and then Bed.
Now I am a teacher at high school and am very happy. I thank Allah who created such beautiful opportunity for me. I am best friend of baji’s daughter and am still doing double job; one is school and other at Baji’s place. Thank you everyone who helped me achieve my goal.
This is a story of a Pakistani girl.
Photo Credits: Khalid Hussain