Amina was happy, very happy.
She was in love and about to be married soon.
Five years back she had put her foot on Bahrain soil employed at this Five star Hotel. Over the years she had progressed in the ranks of ‘maids’. Her objective in coming to Bahrain-on track
Her fathers demise had plunged her family of 7 on the verge of poverty and she being the eldest had been forced to eke out and work to support her family.
Now her younger siblings were put in a good school and the sister next to her was married.
But occasionally she used to feel the pangs of loneliness. The need for a companion. She knew that if she got married in the traditional way even if she continued working, she might not be allowed to help her family and that increased her misery. But not anymore…. She was in LOVE.
Othman the Sudanese chef had fallen for her, her big eyes, long curly hair, and had pursued her until she could not say No.
Her terms of employment decreed her to be single because the job required her to be always on call and so they met secretly, hurriedly.
FIVE YEARS LATER
Amina hugged her son Hameed and wiped away his tears. He wanted to play outside but she was afraid to let him go. Some days back a teenager had been asked his identification and on not producing it, his parents had been fined. And Hameed didn’t have any papers at all. So how could she let him go.
Five years back she had quit her job and had got into a Supermarket as a cashier. She and Othman had had a nikaah. And had rented this house. But Othman didn’t have a family visa and neither did her visa status allow her to marry but still ..love..
She had managed to hide her pregnancy and her delivery took place during the time of her ‘vacation’. Luckily her employer didn’t ask for her ticket if he had, he would have known that she had never taken one.
Her delivery took place at some ‘quacks’ who didn’t demand any papers. Usually all hospitals demanded identification.
And so the hide and seek had continued after Hameed was born. Technically he was ‘illegal’.
She had not been home for the past five years. Home being the backwaters of Kerala. HEr siblings all except the youngest one were working and so the financial burden was eased out now. But personally she was lost.
Othman had lost interest in her and if rumors were to be believed was after the beautiful new receptionist at the hotel. Yesterday they had had a bitter fight when she had asked him to sort out the mess, declare her as his wife and legalize Hameed. In return she had been told that he had never wanted a child and she should have aborted her pregnancy back then, but she had not so it was her responsibility to do the needful. In return she had got violent and scratched him.
She was doubtful now that whether her nikaah was legal at all because it had been written in Arabic which she could not read and also because Otheman had never given her a copy of the nikaahnama
She was recounting this when there was a knock on the door, she opened it to see officials standing outside.
Amina was deported. Her employer had come to know that she was living in sin and had a son. Her son was left back in the care of her friend because it was not clear whether he was an Indian or a Sudani.
Yes it was Othman only who had informed the employer about her. And had left for Sudan. His experience in Bahrain would give him a good break over there.
Aminas friend got in touch with support groups who in turn nagged the Indian embassy to help out the poor child and reunite with his mother. Indian Embassy is always passive and needs quite a shake up to be active. Finally they awoke to get in touch with relevant authorities to clear up his passage to India. The Indian community gathered to collect money for his fare, clothes etc and finally got to be with his mother.
Amina and Hameed are supposedly somewhere in India. I say somewhere because her family too threw her out as they were disgraced by her behaviour.