When you look at her, she seems to be a very unassuming person, marred by malnutrition and her poor conditions, Shashi, the maid at our neighbor’s house. It was a daily routine for us, our morning was never peaceful because our neighbor use to start shouting Shashi’s name as if telling beads. “Shashi, do this, Shashi do that”, and the entire colony knew its morning. Shashi, a common name in Indian Hindu households. The name means night and people with such a name tend to be submissive and cool, hate violence and just calm like the night. And there she was completely in agreement with her name, well if it would have been.
Our maid was going to go her village and well the maid going is actually a more major event than anything else, we needed a temporary maid. And just like a bell rings in the mind, our neighbor said “Shashi!!!!!!!!!”. So we found our solution and that is when we met her, Shashi, or that is what she told us. We asked her if she would work temporarily at our place and she, always in need of money agreed for a small amount.
After joining the job we realised that she always was very morose and submissive and well my mother took it upon herself to inquire. After a lot of persuasion she opened up. Her husband had left her with 4 kids and she was living with hr brother-in-law, for financial support and well combining them both’s income, the entire family could have two square meals.
Now you might wanna know how Shashi dressed up. Obviously, it was not anything flashy but what why am I telling you this is because, she used to dress up as a Hindi bride, vermilion on her head, a symbol of a married Hindu women and also a sacred thread called a mangalsutra also a symbol for a married Hindu women. And now let me drop the bombshell, her name was not Shahshi, it was Shabana, she was not a Hindu but a Muslim. Now that makes you think that why was she dressing up this way and living this completely different identity.
She was not able to find a job when she told people that her name was Shabana, and with no husband to support her, she had to come up with something and fast and that is when it struck her, if she dressed as a Hindu lady, maybe she might get a job and that is what happened. She landed our neighbor’s job and subsequently ours. Well still as Shakespeare said “What is in the name? “, frankly was it right that someone who is in desperate need of money has to live another life just to manage food in the bellies and working tirelessly without asking for any compensation and practically getting exploited.