Reading Time: 2 minutes

Munni stood behind the door, peeking through the crack she had discovered three days after her first day of joining. The girl’s mother had barely waited for her to turn eight before exerting her right as a parent to reap the benefits of having an able daughter, who could contribute to a growing family’s meagre earnings.

Munni was the second child and the seventh was to be born in September.

It was dinner time and the Sharmas, a family of four, had settled down at the dining table. The sahib and memsahib at opposite ends and their two daughters adjacent to each of them. Munni was no longer a novice. She had quickly learned the art of cooking and cleaning at the first household she had worked in.

One year to be exact.

The occasional beatings had been a harsh incentive, but then there was no honest labor without hardship.

It had been only two months since Munni had begun working for the Sharmas. They were a quiet family with simple tastes and a no-nonsense attitude. The memsahib had made it clear to Munni that she would not tolerate lying, stealing, or childish excuses.

But the girl already knew her childhood was over.

The crack was just the right size and with one focused eye, Munni stared at the chewing faces. The sahib used a spoon, knife, and fork, though his fingers would have been a finer option. In this respect, the memsahib was smarter, and her pretty hands danced around, tearing, picking, and swooping.

The daughters, six and four, looked at each other more than their filled-up plates. Giggling and whispering and giggling some more. Memsahib would then interrupt her meal to hand them bites from their individual plates. Sahib would always make his usual remark.

‘You’re too old for your mother to be feeding you.’

Then silence again. Twenty minutes later the meal was over. Munni stepped back from the crack waiting to be called. Her name still sounded unfamiliar on the tips of new tongues, but there was more to life than familiarity.

Munni cleared the table, removing the dirty dishes, dumping the leftovers into her own plate. It was plastic, chipped and scratched. But the food tasted as good as it could, and she shoveled it down. Her tears adding a salty flavor.

The girl longed for company. However, starving stomachs were often denied fancy liberties.

Swami Achoo will either curse or bless you. People wait for hours to be showered with his holy spray.

Go on! Check out my Short Stories Books – Free on Kindle Unlimited
Woman's cracked abstract face with fire streaks
Two smiling potato faces on a couch on a
Shadow of vines on a brick wall

31 Comments on “Servant Girl Munni – Flash Fiction Story

  1. What a sad and powerful story. It puts me in mind (not directly, but within the vicinity) of a four part documentary I saw on Netflix some time ago named Daughters of Destiny where five girls from lower castes attend a boarding school in order to defy their destinies.

    Kudos to you, my friend.

    • Thank you so much, Rhyan. 🙂
      Life is unkind to many in so many different ways.
      But the loss of a carefree and loving childhood is something that just beats a lot of misery hands down.

  2. I like the device you use to produce a sudden pause. A one-sentence break…

    One year to be exact…..

    But the girl already knew her childhood was over.,,,,

    ‘You’re too old for your mother to be feeding you….

    • It’s really a traumatic experience for a child. Yes, she’s the luckier one who has food to fill her belly. Some are languishing in dire circumstances. Thanks so much, Patricia. 🙂

  3. I have witnessed my friends–girls– being used as servants by their parents. This has disappeared about twenty years ago, but when I was young, it was common. My mother refused to do this. She’s not a most nurturing mom, but she certainly had her own idea about womanhood.

    • I’m so glad she did. Times are definitely changing. Awareness and development are leading to the renunciation of such evil practices. I wish you well. 🙂

  4. Wow. Hardships abound in this story, Terveen. I always appreciate the directness of your writing style. Always reads well, and is taken in, in the same way. Wonderful writing, my friend. 😊

    • Yes Jeff. Hardships are abundant in this world. Have to know about them to actually garner the depth of misery people suffer. Thanks always for reading and commenting. Appreciate it. 🙂

  5. Pingback: She Will Cry For You - Flash Fiction Story | It Ain't Right Till I Write

  6. This story was extremely emotional. It’s hard to believe that people really have lives like this in real life – but they do. ‘The girl already knew her childhood was over’ are some of the saddest words to hear. It’s not fair – there shouldn’t be a difference between her and those other girls at the table. Especially when the father says ‘you’re too old for your Mother to be feeding you’. I can’t comprehend how he could see that they were too old for the mother to be feeding them, but Munni wasn’t old enough to be feeding them all. It was very hypocritical – although a nice impactful element of emphasis through contrast to drive the message home in the story.

    • Ah! You caught on to that. God bless you.🙂
      You have an eye for detail and nothing escapes your analytical mind. I really like that. Makes writing so much worth it when the reader is so into it.
      It really is sad that lots of children have terrible childhoods. Actually that’s just a word. They have no fun and games or innocence left to them.
      Their only fault is being born into poverty and having irresponsible parents who shouldn’t have had them in the first place.
      Hypocritical is the second identity of many. Too too many.
      Thank you my dearest Simone.
      Your words always make me smile and feel grateful for being able to write every day without fail. 🙂

It Ain't Right Till You Comment. Go Ahead!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: