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  • Writer's pictureLieke Hulshof

Inspiration woman

April 2022

She has wrapped her long black hair into a shiny knot. A pink clip holds everything together. Today she wears an orange kurta and trousers. With a tub full of tableware resting on her hip she walks into the garden. She then brings a bucket of water, dish soap and a sponge from the bathroom. She squats down, a mountainscape in front of her.

I watch how she skilfully rubs the mugs and plates with soap. Splashes them clean with the cool water. Her three-year-old daughter, Ishu, hops around. Ishu sees our house as a play paradise. It's a place where she embarks on a voyage of discovery. One by one she brings out all things from the cupboards, asking what it is. Using the petrol pen is a real pleasure for her. Also the kitchen is interesting, because there is always a tangerine or biscuit to feast on. Many times there needs to be done some stirring in an empty pan and she regularly tries to get me along with sprinkling salt in tea. A real undertaker, just as her mom Krishna.

Every day Krishna visits different families to cook and clean. She is a cheerful, honorable woman who knows about getting things done. Perhaps she's in her late thirties, but I feel the strength and experience from which she lives her life when I look into her open face, her playful brown eyes. She visits us daily for dishes and household work. Independently she works and decides what needs to be done. Sometimes she takes on an extra task in exchange for the tuitions we give her children. With all her jobs Krishna, together with her husband, gets to sustain their four daughters.

After the dishes, she invites us for a lunch on Sunday. She will make chicken and rajma (kidney bean curry), two local luxurious dishes. Karan offers Krishna some money for all the groceries, but she does not accept it, proud as she is. The following day we climb up the path to the blue house. It's the first time we visit Krishna and her family. There are three families living in different parts of the house. Krishna's family has two rooms. Both have a big bed. There is some storage space, a television and an altar. One room is equiped with a kitchen. We take off our slippers, enter the most beautiful room and take place on the bed. Together with Krishna's husband and Ishu we eat while Krishna serves us and her children in the other room. Especially for Karan and me they bought quality rice. There is raita (a fresh yoghurt sauce). roti's and a salad of cucumber and tomato. It tasts delicious.

Back home I realise how much Krishna has given us. I feel grateful. Not because I see her as poor, less fortunate or as someone with many difficulties. She has everything she needs, I understand from her. I see her as my equal, because she is my equal. I am touched by her strength to share. She is inspiration for me. Yes, she is an inspiration woman.

With love,



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