Can I Eat?
They all had some conversations while eating. In the huge dining room, along the sides of the long dining table, eight people sat, laughed, and talked, talked, and laughed. She stood there; in the kitchen. She awaited any call outs from the diners, if they may need something else. Her stomach grumbled due to hunger. But she had to wait. She couldn’t eat even if she was starving. She had to serve anything needed at any moment. So she waited for the diners to finish eating. The high and low sounds of laughs and giggles filled her ears. Another grumble, a little harder this time. She placed her hand on her stomach and some fine lines of pain drew on her forehead. She was very hungry, exhausted and she wanted food. The very next instant, she heard a noisy call out in a womanly voice. “Sakina, Bring some water; bring chilled water,” it was an order, Sakina moved her hands quickly over shelves, searching for something to pour in water. Her head filled with dizziness and her stomach crying out for food; or anything to fill it. She worked fast, took a jug, filled it with cold water, and moved into the dining room. She quickly moved towards the table and placed the jug in a mannerly way. The smell of food filled her mind and was making her mouth water. She had been working all day and finally, it was her time to eat but she still had to wait until the diners had finished. But she couldn’t be patient anymore. The sweet aroma of spicy chicken and meatloaves filled her mind. The sound of plates, forks, and spoons struck her head. Grumble. She placed her hand on her stomach. “What? Go now,” the same womanly voice spoke, by the side of which she stood. She shook with sudden fear but managed to utter a few words bravely, “Bibi Ji (Urdu word for mistress), can I please have something to eat?” a few warm tears came in her eyes. Bibi Ji looked at her with anger in her eyes. How dare she ask her something like that? Couldn’t she wait? She wouldn’t die if she’d wait a little longer? Seeing the wrath in her mistress's eyes, she trembled and realized she shouldn’t have asked. “You will have lots to eat once we are finished?” Bibi Ji spoke grinding her teeth. The maid left the room instantly and came back to where she was. And again, she stood there and awaited any other call-outs; starving and feeling dizzy. After some more call outs, the diners finally finished and she breathed with relaxation. But she controlled herself for a little more minutes until they left the dining room. She moved her feet quickly and started to collect dishes from the dining table and moved them to the kitchen sink. There was a smirk on her face because now she was going to eat, relish her hunger and feel the taste of the sweet aroma making her mad. Emptying the dining table she moved to the kitchen and opened the bowls and took a look in the trays. Empty. Everything finished. Cleaned as washed. Only the bowl contained some gravy on the walls and the base. The smirk disappeared. She searched the hotpot for some Chapatti. Half of it. It's okay, at least she found something to eat. Without another thought, she started eating chapatti with the gravy in the bowl. It was the most beautiful sensation of grinding food with her teeth and tasting the delicious chicken gravy. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the very moment of the first bite. It gave her such immense pleasure that some tears trickled her throat and came out of her eyes. There was another smile on her face. She opened her eyes, wiped her tears, and ate with a smile.