Stories about maid

The dream that could never be – part 3: A wolf at every turn

She had woken up sweating heavily, vividly remembering his foul ragged breath on her neck and the abnormally large splinter just a step behind her. The next day, her baji had sent her to clean her late father-in-law’s old study in the formerly off-limits part of the house. The place was covered under ages of dirt and was teemed with insects. Samreena had been extremely scared to even step foot there until she found that golden brooch. “Samreena! Kiya halaat hain uper? Neechay aa kay batao jaldi. So gayi ho kiya?” (Samreena! What is the situation up there? Quickly come downstairs and ...

Read Full Post

The dream that could never be – part 1: She thought God had come for her

O’ sweet mother, don’t send me away, I am but so young; it is late in the day. Dogs on the street shall pick me apart, They’ll chew on my bones and tear out my heart. Then he shall come to claim pieces of me, My soul in tatters, my dreams and debris. But his smile is what I fear the most, His touch, his stench, his breath I loathe. Just let me stay in your warm embrace, Silent as death, I’ll quietly stay. In your lap I’ll sleep a dreamless sleep, No dogs, no wolves shall come to steal. In your sweet grasp, I shall gladly stay, Till it’s time to ...

Read Full Post

With an unconventional kinship and a path of self-discovery, will Pinky Memsaab shatter Pakistan’s ‘maid culture’?

Although still struggling, Pakistan’s cinema has started pulling filmgoers to cinema houses and making waves in the international film market. By taking baby steps to reshape the film industry, local filmmakers are working hard to capture the beauty of life on screen, to transform the portrayal of their motherland through persuasive storytelling, and to foster national identity and pride that hasn’t been experienced for a long time. In this regard, Pakistan’s indie filmmaking scene gives the impression of being more rousing and vivacious than ever, with new storytellers along with unrivalled concepts surfacing the cinematic galaxy. These avantgarde indie movies ...

Read Full Post

It was time for Laila to go home

The autumnal sky was reddened by the setting sun. Laila gazed at it in admiration. In just a few hours, the sky would turn dark and it’ll be night. And Laila would finally escape her wretched, tormenting, miserable life. She felt all her fear and trepidation melt into thin air as the world around her slowly dyed into a deeper shade of scarlet. ‘A few more hours, and I’ll be gone from here, forever.’ A cool blue dawn broke over the village of Saleh Brohi. From her window, Laila saw the streets of Saleh Brohi sprawling out below. This place was where ...

Read Full Post

A domestic helper is not a slave. A child is not a servant. #JusticeForTayyaba

Exactly one year ago, a man heard a little girl cry out from the cold floor of a washroom in Rawalpindi. She is a 12-year-old domestic worker in Rawalpindi Cantonment. As the man tries to contact the police, he realises there is no proper method to save a child like that from a family that refuses to understand that such treatment towards young children, or any person, is nothing but inhumane. The man who heard this little child’s cry wrote about the incident in a piece published on January 01, 2016, with the hope that by this year, she ...

Read Full Post

How long will our country insist on keeping its boys out of the kitchen?

How long will this country insist on keeping its girls in the kitchen? Another 70 years according to the Punjab Government, which has announced a program to exclusively provide girls schools with poultry to ‘teach them about the kitchen.’ The aim of this program is to teach the rudiments of nutrition and “train these small girls about kitchen waste.” The reason only girls’ schools are included in this scheme is because, “Girls, mostly, have to deal with the kitchen and they are more responsible and caring than boys.” Firstly, the move in itself is a sensible one; schools in many developing countries include practical agriculture ...

Read Full Post

Do you joke about “looking like a maasi” or “acting like a bhangi”?

I love what I do for a living. I love flaunting it and I proudly call it a part of my identity. Imagine if a part of your identity was a derogatory term used to cuss, insult or degrade someone? Imagine if the words “you look like a banker/teacher/accountant/marketer” generated feelings of disgust and repulsion. Back in college, I remember casually exclaiming, “maasi wali haalat hori hai” (I look like a maid) on my way to an exam, since I hadn’t changed my clothes nor brushed my hair. At the same time of my, rather crude, exclamation, one of the maids in the hostel ...

Read Full Post

Five stereotypes that ‘Devious Maids’ smartly shuns away

The comedy-drama series Devious Maids made its much anticipated return with the release of season three in June 2015. The show stars Roselyn Sanchez, Dania Ramirez, Ana Ortiz, Edy Ganem, and Judy Reyes as five Latina maids working for elitist families in Beverly Hills, California, with dreams and ambitions of their own. But these five women are not just cleaning floors or washing dishes for a living. Apparently they hold on to many dirty secrets of the families they work for. However, keeping the ‘devious’ element aside, I believe the show suppresses a number of stereotypes and clichés about Latinas that the writers indirectly try to enlighten ...

Read Full Post

5 things I learnt after moving to Pakistan

When I made the decision to move to the notorious land called Pakistan, because of my husband’s job, there were mixed reactions from the community (to say the least). My non-Pakistani and non-Muslim friends were terrified for my safety and were keen on reminding me of the short list of communities; their concerns involved my husband’s salary, the tough humidity, and the eternal inconvenience of load-shedding.  Ignoring all concerns, I decided to take on the adventure and assured my friends that I was happy and ready for anything. Boy did I lie. I was terrified – but very much in love. I had ...

Read Full Post

“Stop encouraging the idea of education within these children”

I recently got into an argument over class, status and ranks – the superficial boundaries that divide our society. And the greatest regret coming from it was the fact that even the most educated minds are still so deeply woven into these concepts that it provokes the irrationale amidst me. I grew up with four kids who did not belong to my class; they were children of my ‘maid’ who I lovingly call my second mom. When I was growing up, the word ‘maid’ and ‘nokar’ was prohibited in my household. She was known as ‘Baji’, who helped us around ...

Read Full Post