By: Kareshma Prabakaran
Many people go in and out of our library here at Inti Subang, except for one.
Well, we know her as the person responsible for keeping our library clean and that’s basically all we know about her actually.
So I decided to build up the courage to go talk to her.
If you still don’t know who I’m talking about, it’s our janitor.
Her name is Vasantha and this is her story.
Waking up in the morning is a regular routine that we all follow. We are either leaving home for school, college or work.
For Vasantha, going to work daily is a challenge itself because of her leg injury.
“I wake up at 5 a.m. to cook for my family, clean my house and get my daughter ready for school .
My husband drops me off here at Inti Subang and he leaves for work at Sime Darby Medical Centre as a janitor there”.
She then gets started on her duties, starting from 8 am and ending at 5 pm.
“The people here are really respectful towards me and I’m really glad they are”.
“Instead of calling me names, they call me aunty or akka (elder sister in Tamil language) and I’m really happy when they call me that as they see me as family”
You know when you accidentally leave all your stuff back in the library after hours of tireless studying? Who do you think is kind enough to return it back? It’s all her.
Vasantha believes that her good deeds will be paid back in some other form . She does her best to help others in hopes that someday should her daughter ever need help, karma will play it’s course.
Despite her leg injury, she still smiles and hides her pain behind it.
“My legs are broken and I can’t stand for too long or sit either but my job isn’t something where I can just sit around all day,” Vasantha said.
“I don’t take medical sick certificates because I fear that they might replace me with someone seeing that I’m not good at my job and if that happens, I don’t know what will happen to my family”.
For Vasantha, it doesn’t matter if she takes the medical leave or not because even after all the dedication to her work, she can’t earn enough to support her family financially.
“I earn about RM 1000 per month but after EPF deductions it really hits me hard because I’ll be only left with RM 700 or so and my husband earns the same too”.
She’s glad that her husband has managed to keep away from drinking and smoking habits.
Her daughter wants to be a policewoman in the future, even after much persuasion from Vasantha to change her mind.
“Some dreams can’t be changed,” Vasantha said.
“I want her to go to a good institute once she’s done with school”.
Vasantha hopes that after this, people will see her differently and not just as our janitor.
“People will push you down the ground and scar you, but what really matters is you. Do you want to change your beautiful self just for them? They can be mean but never bow down to them. Just smile and thank god for the beautiful life he’s given you and be proud you’ve survived the silent pain all by yourself.”