Q. Read the passage given below carefully.
It was Monday morning when the phone rang. It was my mother. After talking for a minute, she said “I am giving the phone to someone. Talk to her.
" "Hello," came a familiar voice and I immediately knew who was at the other end. I was very happy to hear that voice. It had been too long. "Daija! How are you? When did you come there?"
"Just yesterday. I am fine. How are you?" said Daija Daija was my grandparents' helping hand for many years. She came to work for them almost 51 years ago. My mother was just seven years old then. Daija came unannounced. She had heard that my grandparents were looking for a maid and she travelled for two days to apply for the job. She was around 20 years old then.
Daija was puny. She frequently laughed out loud. Her husband had left her for another woman but this had not embittered her about life. Slowly, she became part of the family. Her real name was Kamlaben but my mother would call her “Daija" affectionately and it stuck to her for the rest of her life. Her personality was such that she became the life of every festival and get-together. She was a good dancer and though she did not have a good voice she enjoyed singing too.When my mother was married and moved to another town, Daija cried more than my grandmother.
When my mother was pregnant she came to live with her. Every winter, we used to go to our grandparents’ place for holidays and she became our playmate. She would hide some special food from my grandmother to give us later.
My grandmother could not do without her. When my grandfather died 10 years ago, she became my grandmother's sole companion. They had disagreements but that didn't bother either of them. But once grandfather was gone, Daija started feeling insecure. My grandmother, who was six years older than Daija, was also not keeping well. Daija would take care of her but who would take care of Daija? She was already 72. One day, she came to my mother and took out about Rs. 6,000, which she had saved. She said "Kamala, please secure a place for me in an old age home. I may not be staying here for a long time." My mother dismissed her but that act remained in her mind. Sometimes, she would discuss Daija’s future with my father.
Daija, too old by now to do everything herself, had other maids helping her. She was now the task manager. At times, we could not differentiate her from our grandmother. She was as influential. Then, one day after 45 years, without warning, her husband came to visit her. She had no feelings. She had not seen him for all these years. The other woman had passed away leaving her grown-up son, who was earning decent lives for themselves. The husband himself had made a name in palmistry. Now he was expecting her to come back. She was not sure. He left without an answer. It took her a long time to decide. She finally decided to go .The day she left, a vacuum was created in our lives. There was no one to take her place. Today, we miss her laughs, her unconditional love and her spontaneity. She still visits my grandmother on every festival. These days, Daija has been travelling around with her husband, and his son takes care of her.Some people like Daija leave a void in lives, and are always remembered.
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