The sold 16
I had lost my parents, my sister and now I’ve lost Mahi, to keep going did not seem possible at this point. They can take away your identity and strip off your basic human rights and you could probably still survive but when they take away your reason to live, something inside you breaks and the fear dissolves.
I was sold to a chubby Thai man who seemed to be wealthy. I could not understand what he could possibly want from me. I got into the car and until we reached a huge house their was total silence. The mansion was wow! I knew that rich people bought slaves and I also knew there was no way out. I thought of Mahi and I said a prayer for her, I prayed that wherever she was, she was safe.
I was led into the house, a lady approached me and asked where was I from and a few other personal questions. I am Rohingya I said proudly hoping to God this women had an ounce of remorse. She asked me where I had learned English so I told her the story of my father, she nodded her head to a man that stood nearby and he left.
She took me into the kitchen and told me she had bought me and paid a lot since I could speak English there was a demand for me. I was to work as the maid in the house, I was to come when I was called no matter the time of night. I was to look after her grandson who came on occasion to stay and I should always be in the house before she or her husband awoke. Breakfast was to be served by six am sharp every day and a three course breakfast was essential.
I looked at her she was not from here her accent sounded British but she had an American flair. The irony was that slavery began in the British colonies and centuries later they still trading us as if we were not human. She was old and well dressed, it was clear she had never worked a day in her life. I was convinced I would have to bath her and feed her.
But this was my life for now. I was given a bed in what looked like a small hostel, the tiny bathroom had no doors and there were six of us, four males and two females, who worked at the house. One of the slaves was a highly pregnant Thai woman who told me that this was her last 2 weeks because she was going home to have a baby. She asked me how much I was earning and I told her I was to work until they no longer needed me, as If I was paying a debt.
The following morning Tania and I got into our uniform, a black dress and white hat. We went into the kitchen and she showed me what a feast they needed for breakfast and so on. I learnt quickly but I was also to learn what a temper the Madam had. Things were thrown at me and I was hit many times in two weeks. The one night her tea was too hot, so she took the boiling cup and threw it at my feet. The following morning I had forgotten to put a hand towel in her bathroom, so she dragged across to the bathroom. For a tiny woman she was damn strong.
Tania left work by the second week and I was the only women in the Dump they made us sleep in. I would not go the bathroom unless everyone else was out of the room. One thing I enjoyed was that I could read my morning prayer (fajr) without any one bothering me. Life in the old hags house was torture but I knew it could be a lot worse.
One night one of the gardeners told me that he from Arakan as well and that he had seen me around and wondered why I had come to Thailand. I told him that I had left the day elections began. We spoke all night and I shared my raw emotions with him. It felt good to talk. As the days passed I enjoyed talking to him about everything. He started waking me up for morning prayers and even though we weren’t supposed to be this close for religious reasons we had no option here.
Ahmed’s story about leaving home did not differ to mine and I am sure many others wont. We all were stripped of our place.
by mumtaz saley