“I don’t ever want to see you serving her food in this plate” said my mother-in-law. With this she gave me a plate, glass and a cup to use whenever our maasi asked for food. Now this wasn’t something I heard here at my in-laws place. I remember even my mom used to repeat this same chorus of keeping separate dishes for maasiz.
We grow up listening tothese things like ostracizing the maids no matter which religion they belong.
But here are some very bitter facts about our maids.
House maids are the most underpaid people in our society. Imagine a sole breadwinner of a family staying 24/7 at your place and getting at the most ten to fifteen thousand bucks. How much was your electricity bill?
Equality is not for them
How many of you let your maasiz sit on your sofas or even chairs. Just few days ago my maid brought her daughter along with her. My kids were watching TV and she sat not right next to them but at the corner of the bed .I wanted to ask her to sit on the wooden stool used especially for them but my conscience didn’t let me.
Oh how I wanted her to get up from the bed! But thank god my mother-in-law intervened and showed her, her place. I was happy I didn’t get to become the villain but I still have not developed the guts to stand up for the oppressed.
Napoleon from Animal Farm still echoes in our minds. “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”
How about in restaurants?
I do not think I will go to a restaurant if I have my maid with me. Few years back a picture got viral where a family enjoyed its dinner with their maid standing right next to them handling the toddlers.
I don’t know how long it would take for me to change what I and we all have been brainwashed about maids since our childhood.
Then there are some puritans who think the biggest sin in the world is to drink water from the same glass as their Christian maid. They might be sharing food with a Muslim hepatitas C patient but heck no for a Christian.
Why only the leftovers?
Most of the times you give them leftovers but imagine you cooking fresh food for somebody and he or she telling you to take home the kal wala salan(yesterday’s left over curry)
A very close relative of mine tried to be very generous and picked all the rotten apples for the maid. On being asked he said “Oh they will eat everything, even this half rotten apple”. Ok, if you are giving those rotten ones why not some good ones too so as not to hurt her self esteem.
Won’t you switch jobs if you find better remunerations or facilities? If yes why so much fuss over when a maid ditches you?
Never spoil them
“Keep her busy. If you don’t she will become hadharaam(lazy)”. I keep hearing it time and again. So I am told to make her wash the dishes again and again as letting her straighten her back or watch some TV would spoil her.
Remember! Maids or Christian maids carry no particular infectious diseases and you do not need to separate their eating or cooking utensils. They are human beings like you and me. Treat them like one. Remember what the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad was about? Your piety before Allah will be judged on the basis of your good deeds, not on your profession.
I can’t change my mom or mum-in-law’s thinking but I think I have a chance at the future ones.