Today is N!! @a-z challenge
Story of Nondo...

When we were young, my mother was a working mom and having us, i.e two teenage girls to bring up in a rather big house was quite stressful for her, hence she relied a lot on domestic help. As such, we had seen many of them come and go. Some liked it in the begining, then over time they'd miss their own home and my mother would send them back as she didn't like keeping anyone against their wish. However, there was one who cried the most when he was sent back. And he was Nondo - our young boy friday.

My mother was quite apprehensive about keeping him at first as he was a boy ( so far only female domestic help used to live with us ), that too in a house with 2 growing teenage girls. However Nondo's family was very poor and they pleaded to my mother to keep him for sometime, if he was trouble then to send him back. So, as a trial my mother reluctantly kept him.

Nondo was very shy in the beginning, quite unusually so. He'd hardly look at any of us directly. He'd stand quietly in one corner, meek. If we asked him anything, he'd simply blush away for several minutes before coming up with an audible reply. As days went by though, he did gradually start opening up. He'd often then come and sit with us to play after helping mom out. A quick learner, talent was brimming in the lad. He made a great carrom and ludo player and sometimes also joined us in our evening outdoor match like badminton or cycling. Sometimes he even asked for permission to play cricket with the neighbourhood boys and was allowed occasionally. Many times they had broken our window panes while playing. Seeing that, would upset Nondo a lot, and afterwards he stopped playing with the boys. Rather he would go up to them and tell them to play somewhere else. Protective he was, as for him any loss to our property was his own loss too. He had come to regard our house as his own.
Both my sister and myself would often send him to the shops nearby to buy sweets, chaats and other stuff for us with our pocket money and he'd gladly do it. Of course, we loved sharing with him too. Though he came from poor family, we treated him as any family member and he loved it.

Those days we had only Doordarshan on our TV, hence no cable or entertainment of any kind, and we'd get quite bored. Nondo came to our rescue and became our entertainment channel as he'd tell us all kinda village stories - mostly ghosts and some really odd, funny ones that would have us in splits. His stories were never ending, some of them would not even have any logic in them as he'd just weave them up on the spot - just to make us happy, and we loved listening them. He had an unusual talent as well. To make his stories more interesting, he'd enact the scenes out. So, sometimes Nondo would act as a petite princess, sometimes hop like a frog, sometimes become chicken and so on. Our house was filled with his crazy antics. We simply loved his infinite theatrics and were enamored by it. For his age, he knew quite a bit of adult kinda stories too, but would get an immediate rebuke from my mother if he attempted to tell us any.
One day Nondo told us that he knew some village tribal dance and wanted to show it to us. This was a very different Nondo, than the one seeped in shyness, who had previously come to our house. All his inhibitions discarded.

His tribal dance was so unique that we'd always ask for more. "Nondo do that jhiki-miki-jhik-mik number," we'd say and he'd instantly get on his feet to entertain us. He loved doing it as well, that sometimes he would himself eagerly ask, "Shall I do the jhiki-miki-jhik-mik dance now?" And we'd be like - yes, yes Nondo...go ahead.

In the Jhiki-miki-jhik-mik dance, he'd remove his chappals, have one hand placed on his waist and the other in the air, shaking, with all his five fingers stretched out. Both knees would be half bent, and all moving together at once, synchronized with a funny hip movement as he'd rhythmically chant 'jhiki-miki-jhik-mik-jhiki-miki-jhik-mik' swaying left-right repeatedly, throughout the entire dance. He'd cover the whole room with this funny dance show of his, leaving us all in awe. It was really hilarious to watch him, his shiny white teeth flashing against his darker skin, a constant big, silly grin pasted on his face the whole time. He looked quite an uncanny sight, though in a funny way. Unfortunately, we didn't have a camera or mobile phone in those days to click those priceless moments of him.
When he danced, he would be lost in his own unique world of euphoria, oblivious to everything else. And if we didn't stop him for the day, he'd perhaps have kept on dancing gleefully away.

Anyhow, he was now more than a domestic help to us and we wanted him to stay with us forever. Both me and my sister would teach him alphabets and other things that we thought would help in his education. He was an eager student too. So, he learnt english from us and managed to say quite a bit of it. He also learnt maths and calculations with interest. My mother thought of sending him to a proper school as well. However that was not to be, a tragedy had befallen.

One morning, my mother had sent him to buy some bread and eggs. When he returned, we saw to our horror both his legs were bleeding badly. When asked, he told us that two stray dogs had viciously attacked him. And as he tried to run, they chased and bit him. My mother immediately took him to a clinic for the dog-bite injections and for cleaning of the wounds. But since the injuries were grave she grew very concerned. She informed Nondo's family, who came within a day or two to take him. We didn't want him to go, but as my mother didn't want any complications she thought, it'd be best to send him with his family till he got better. Nondo didnt want to go as well, and he cried. He cried a lot asking my mother not to send him. It was the first time we were seeing a domestic help crying so much to stay back. We all felt very bad, but his family also thought it was better to take him back. My mother gave them the money required for his treatment.

So, alas Nondo was gone. Our house suddenly became empty of his usual chatter and the frequent lively, enthralling jhiki-miki-jhik-mik that he did to humor and entertain us. We all missed him a lot. For days we sulked. But life did went on, and gradually the memories faded as some other domestic help eventually came, however, we never grew so close to them as we were with Nondo. He had become almost like a younger sibling to us.

Many years later, a young man knocked on our door. My mother had opened it and the man introduced himself as Nondo. He had grown up so much that my mother barely recognized him. And surprisingly, he still wanted to come back and stay with us. Now of course it was impossible, but my mother said if she found some suitable work for him, she'd definitely refer. He was clearly disappointed. I think he was also quite attached to us that he came on his own, after so many years.

At the moment however, I have no clue where Nondo is, where fate has taken him. Maybe he got a job or even married. However, the times he spent with us as a young boy-friday, his unique jhiki-miki-jhik-mik dance, and all his theatrical energies that he displayed so willing and untiringly, will always be a pleasant nostalgic memory.

This post is part of the A-Z challenge for April'2013. Except Sundays, post everyday with 26 alphabets.

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  1. i sure did relate to all the narration. Right now i'm also pining for someone like Nondo and look at my luck...she is there and yet so unwilling to leave her alcoholic, good for nothing paramour that she is staying with.
    When u have the inclination and the time will u mind meeting my Nondo. Only thing her name is Vasanthi.

    1. thanks shivani..and sure, will read immediately

  2. What a great story. Visiting from A-Z

  3. Anonymous05:21

    nice read... I could recall about my domestic help from Bihar , Samsthipur. His name was Bhageloo.. and we would tease him Bhageloo bhag ja (run away) and then one day he went not to return and 20 years back communication was an issue .. only few years back , my father got the news he is a truck driver and that he is a proud father of few !! hehe.. we could not meet him yet .. and I recall how he would narrate his village stories and we kiddos , the siblings , would wait for the bed time stories which ideally used to start after parents were asleep !!
    Hope this time it goes.. u would not know I have visited your site many a times but never been able to comment ... I loved the Bida fight story as well !!! BOL for AtoZ

    1. heya thanks for sharing ur story of bhageloo ( what a name lol ) and thanks for reading my post :-)


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