So, a lot of things keep happening in life, and some of them are events in which I was the observer and wasn’t involved directly. So, I’d like to call these stories “subplots”.
And this is a subplot about a maid who used to work for us for several years and eventually ran away. Hence, the “runaway maid subplot”. I hope you can experience this story the same way I did — As a third person. 😁
Alright, let’s get started!
It was around the end of October 2020, when an electrical pole a few streets away had caught fire, and as every normal person would, we called in the fire department. They came in, extinguished the fire with relative ease and that’s it.
While that was happening, when I made the call, our maid was looking on, she asked me,
“You can call up the fire department for help?”
“Yeah, sure you can, the police & ambulance services are also available”
The day went by pretty uneventfully, but I had not realized I made a very crucial mistake. I had forgotten to share that those emergency helpline numbers are 100, 102 & 104 respectively & would work via any phone.
Things went by pretty uneventfully, and around early November, we have a festival, “Tihar” a.k.a. “Diwali”. She said that she would go to her village for that festival, and would not return until a few days after her sister-in-law has delivered her child. We agreed and thought that it would be the end of it.
Then suddenly, one night, I get a call at 3 am. “Hello? Are you up? My sister is in labor right now…, you said you could call up the ambulance, can you do that and send it to our village?”
The midnight panic kicked, I said, “Okay”, and ended the call. Immediately, I dialed 104 - the emergency number for the ambulance, and here’s how the conversation went:
“Yes, this is emergency services, how may I help you?”
“A lady is in labor, we’d like to get her to a hospital as soon as possible”.
“Sure, where are you? We will send one right away.”
In my panic, I forgot to ask her the address, I didn’t even know the name of the village 😂, I just had an idea of the district she was in.
“Hold on, I’ll call you back, once I get the address” 😅
I ended the call, went upstairs to my parents who were asleep. I woke them up and told them of the situation. My parents only knew the general area where she stayed, not the precise address.
Regardless, my father suggested calling the ambulance anyway, as such a fiasco would only be going on in one house in the entire neighborhood in a village at 3 am.
So, my dad called up the ambulance, only to our horror to find out that the location is not accessible by road, and we’d need to get the patient downhill to another town, where the ambulance could reach.
Meanwhile, my mom called her up again,
“Hello? Yes, I got the information, why are you people not nearby a hospital?”
“We thought that we could celebrate the festival together in our house in the village, so we didn’t move to the town”🤦♀️
“That was a very bad decision! Babies don’t know that it’s a holiday and they decide not to come out. Alright, no problem, what’s done is done, where is the husband? He needs to take her to the hospital.”
“He came in a few hours ago, drunk, in fact, he was brought in by his friends and he has passed out.”
“What kind of idiot is he? At this stage, any idiot would know that the child might come out, not only did he didn’t take her near a hospital, but also came back bloody drunk?!” 🤦♂
“️Yes, ma’am what should we do? I think I can see the baby's head, and my sister-in-law is in a lot of pain, I don’t know what to do? Hello? Hello? I can’t hear you, our neighbors have started to come and see what’s going on.”
That fiasco probably woke up all the neighbors and there was a lot of noise in the background and she couldn’t hear clearly what was going on the call and ultimately disconnected.
Right after that, we tried to call her back but had no success. Meanwhile, my dad called up a colleague who was in a nearby town and thought that he could help with getting the patient closer to the hospital. Obviously, no one would pick up a call at 3.30 in the morning, but luckily, after a couple of retries, he picked it up.
We explained the situation to him, he agreed to help and told us that he would take some guys with him, in case they need to carry her down.
After nearly 45 mins of a sleepless night, and trying to call her as frequently as we could, we got a call from the colleague who went up to the village and we were horrified to hear,
“The baby has come out, but we don’t know how to get rid of the cord”
My mom took over the call, she is the closest person we have to a doctor, she told her to get some scissors, dip them in boiling water to sanitize it, and use them to cut the cord.
Just at the moment, when that happened, and the fiasco finally reached the other end of the village, where an elderly lady familiar with the birthing process came and finally separated the mother from the child; with this, we breathed a huge sigh of relief, and asked my dad’s colleague to take the mother and the child to the nearest hospital for a checkup.
But, they declined.
What? Why? Why would you do that? The mother and child are separated now, we have to confirm their safety, they should be in a hospital for all checkups, registration, etc, and then they can bring them home.
But, the villagers denied it, saying that it is a custom that the child cannot leave the house for 3 days after he was born.
- we didn’t get proper sleep since 3 and were stressed the whole time
- the irresponsible couple had decided not to go to the town with medical facilities
- the even more irresponsible husband came in drunk, knowing that a child might be born anytime soon
- the lady was in full pain for multiple hours.
- had an absolute fiasco, thinking about how to cut an umbilical cord and provide the instructions via phone
- it’s already 5 am, we won’t be able to get even an hour more of sleep.
- and now they are telling that they can’t allow the baby to leave their house due to “customs” that made no sense.
Finally, there was nothing that we could have done from here. We were talking through a phone, and probably a crowd of 20 people must have gathered outside, trying to explain their customs.
We ultimately gave up and told them to be careful with the child, as my mother advised them on the basic dos and don’ts for a child.
But wait, where’s the part where she runs away?
Well, that’ll be the next part of this story. After a few days from the childbirth, she did come back and started to work for us as normal. So, like you, we didn’t suspect anything could go wrong and that she’d leave us.
But she will.
I hope you enjoyed this format of story-telling, and since I wasn’t directly involved in this story, unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures for you. 😔
The child currently is doing fine and is going to be a good healthy boy. In my opinion, the entire couple and the family were very careless about the decision of letting the couple stay so far away from medical facilities, just because of a festival. Additionally, the husband made an even worse decision about going and drinking with his friends, especially when the wife was so close to expectancy.
Part 2 of the story now available.
Optional Solution Section ( not story related )
Although all I could do was watch as the story unfolded, I wanted to solve the problem that happened in the story, so I think the problem is: that our addressing system is very outdated. Just take this sample address for my hostel:
H-13, Gajjar Bhavan, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Ichchhanath, Pipload, Gujarat, India — 395007
It contains, letters, numbers, and is very long and difficult to memorize, additionally, even with that complete address, you cannot precisely find where I am.
Sure, you can use google maps, but it will return you a bunch of coordinates, that are more difficult to memorize than the above verbose address and difficult to share unless both parties are good with phones, links, and google maps. Alternatively, I think we can use this website/ app called what3words.
This website converts any 3 x 3 meter square on the whole planet, into exactly 3 words. So, the above verbose address can be converted to
That’s it! Just 3 words; the verbose address is significantly shortened and you can find me in the precision of 3 meters!
Free to use?
How do I generate my own 3-word address?
Find the place where you want to generate the address ( the classical address works in the search ). Zoom in until you see the grid. Tap on the grid that you think is the correct address, and you’ll have your 3-word address ready.
Want to share directly?
Just slap on the three words address after the website: e.g. https://what3words.com/dares.tricycle.shared
Easier to remember?
Available in a butt-ton of languages?
What about navigation?
Integrated with google maps navigation.
What if very similar words show up in the same location?
Not going to happen, they are widely spaced out, just intentionally misspell
dares.tricycle.shared to dare.tricycle.share, it will point you towards the USA instead of India, which is going to make you recheck your spelling, hence avoiding mistakes.
Have developer APIs?
I loved the concept of what3words and wanted to add this section to share about it. Had I known this technology before that incident had happened, that precise address might have saved the lady from unnecessary pain/ delay in figuring out the ambulance logistics.
This same concept can be used elsewhere in businesses and other applications, and in general, even printing lesser words on the parcel would make the world a better place. 😁
If you do have any great ideas about the 3-word addressing system, do let me know, I’ll try to contribute if I can, as I believe that it should be our modern addressing system. 😁