I still dream of Kak Janaki sometimes , usually the dreams revolves around my childhood reality , incidents and activies that we did many years ago.
When I was barely 7 , the first few weeks in school ,being a spoilt , over pampered little girl my mum and kak Janaki or fondly known as Kak Ki" took turns waiting for me in school and when busy body classmates asked me who that Indian girl was ? or is she our maid?
Little Azura answered loud and clear "NO she is my sister".
Kak Janaki were young at the time, she was the eldest in the family , her mother were a singer , singing in temples .I am not quite sure, but I think she was in a performing group singing from one place to another, She has 2 little brothers , her father is called Elappan and my father wants me to address him as Uncle Elappan.They lived in a wooden house far into a rubber plantation.Kak Janaki stayed with us since I was 4, my mum went to a brick kiln to get some brick for her garden of an acre at the time, and found this beautiful girl working hard at the kiln , as my younger brother will be born soon , we difinitely need extra help at home , and my mum thinks that working as a labourer at a brick "factory" is not a job for a young lady like her.Until today ,I think it was love at first sight for my mum and Janaki , they got on extremely well.She was hired and came to stay with us.
We had so many helpers who had worked in our house , all of them had been considered as family to me.But Janaki were among the longest and the closest.
My mother trained her personally from table setting and etiquettes, to fashion and beauty tips.
When we ate at a nice restaurant she ates with us, when we flew away for holiday ,she came with us.We had so much fun together and How am I going to call you our helper or nanny when you are already a family to me? A Frangipani tree , little BMX, a house on a hilltop just me , my little brother and Janaki.
All that I want is for you to be happy.
After many years of staying with us, Janaki had turned into this beautiful and graceful lady,while taking us to the shop to get our regular colourful candies and crackers , she came to know a guy , a truck driver .He likes her and gave her some pretty Indian bangles he got me and my brother presents too ! they fell in love and though my mum dont quite like her new "boyfriend but my late father persuaded my mum saying that Janaki cant be staying with us forever , she is a big girl now and deserves to have a family of her own.Months after that discussion that I overheard, my father"s job took us to a new city ,it was great there, and with a huge playground build just for us two at the back of the house .. its like growing up in a circus! and to add the joy at the time, we had another friend called Michaelangelo a blue persian cat of ours . Just like all of us I cant compile all the childhood fun we had in this blog or even the thickest book ,but we did have tonnes of fun at the time even when we took the shopping trolley and took Michaelangelo in it and went for a stroll and his tail were tangled, though I dont feel like laughing at the time .. I smiled sometimes thinking about me and brother"s stupidity and how Janaki bailed us out everytime.
Oh yea, she and her boyfriend .., they still writes to each other.
Here comes Deepavali
Kak Janaki went for her holiday , back to her village, at this time her parents had moved somewhere else and the whooping shock was ... she never come back to our house until... few months later , I received a letter from her saying that she got married and her husband had been abusing her, she asked if we could go and pick her up as her life is harsh and difficult.
We went looking for her with the address given, and were told by the people in that small town that she and her husband had left days ago.
Its been years that we have not seen each other, my mother and my brother (ohh.. he is tall now) miss you very much, we had been trying to look for you allover with many efforts.My father had passed away a long time ago... that is only the beginning
of my letter to Kak Janaki. If only I could just see her ,I will tell her more and more stories and what had happened to us since the day she left.
And also... despite our different beliefs and race I would like to say that
Kak Janaki, Abang Aru,Hassan (our gardeners ),Ragu,Deevan they are my family.
Apart from Kak Janaki, I am still in touch with those who had worked for my father Im sorry as I dont mention all of them here because they were few that worked just for a short few years, when we saw one of them the other day, He hugged us with tears of joy running through his cheeks.
Though we are apart name it time and location , beliefs and situation.
This Deepavali , a festival that Hindus celebrates, I would like to wish you all A Very Happy Deepavali and wherever you are, may your life be filled with lights of joy and prosperity.
We are still hoping to meet Janaki a/p Elappan. No matter where she is , we want her to know that we hope that she is well and happy and just so she knows ,we always think of her and she is always so dear to our heart .Nothing could separate our sweet Janaki from our hearts.