Mangala earned her livelihood working in many houses as a maid. She had to feed her three children and her good-for-nothing drunkard husband. Her husband felt it his right to live off in her salary, just drinking and betting on horses, even though all that he has ever done was drain her salary in full. The daily wage job that he attended, he felt was not upto his level. So the number of days that he stayed away from the job was more than the number of days he would go to work. More so he needed to be away from his job so that he could be present at the racing and gambling places. End result, the money that he brings home was not sufficient even to meet just his needs alone.
Not having had any education herself, Mangala wanted her children to study and now her children were in class 11, class 10 and class 7. Studying in corporation schools, her children did not disappoint her, they studied dedicatedly and the efforts were proving good with them gaining good grades in school. The income she earned was meagre and so she worked doubly hard to provide for their school facilities also. There were times when she found it real difficult to meet their school demands and so borrowed from the houses where she worked. Being an honest and sincere lady, she repaid the loan the day she received her salary. Of course within a span of few days, she used to return to the lady of the houses she worked for another loan. Amidst these she managed to save a little for her children.
But hardship seemed to follow her severely. Her husband was hospitalized and an appendicitis operation was needed. The very little savings that she had and borrowing from the houses she worked, were just not enough to tide over the hospital bills. And so with a heavy heart she went to the pawnbroker’s to pledge her jewels. At an exorbitant rate of interest, she received money to tide over the hospital expenses. She could repay the loan borrowed from the houses that she worked, on a later date, but the pawnbroker would need his dues at the right time. And to tide over this phase of her life she added the number of houses she worked. But things went bleak when the time for repayment of the principal was past over due and the pawnbroker would just not hear anything from her. At her doorstep would he come each day demanding his money and hurling the worst abuse ever possible when she pleaded for time. And ultimately the pawnbroker sent a notice saying her jewels would be put for auction. Poor Mangala, could do nothing when the Pawnbroker said no balance remained as all the money received from the auction was just enough to pay of his loan.
And so it is true when it is said: "The only man who sticks closer to you in adversity than a friend is a creditor." - Unknown