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Do you have separate plates for your domestic help?
Much like a hurricane that hits without prior notice and on its own wretched schedule, my cleaning lady descends upon me every week. Instead of feeling jubilant at the sight of her, my blood pressure rises and spirits fall even before I can say "come in."
Inspired by her friends, my mother started a new tradition in our home last night. She invited the family of our maid Madina to come home for dinner. She had earlier sent dad and me off to buy all the groceries and special food was prepared for them. We all ate together and had a lovely conversation as well. It was also a humbling experience for me and made me realise anew what a privileged life we lead.
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Coming to the US for people who belong to a rich background or even the upper echelons of the middle class can be quite humbling. Neither are they used to doing any of their personal work by themselves nor can they afford the level of household help they're used to having. They are seriously handicapped at this point, as self-reliance is something they have never learnt. I see my own reflection in them as I was when I first entered my new homeland.
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The title of actor Shiney Ahuja's upcoming movie, Welcome Back, may well be a message for him. The 40-year-old actor, who spent about three years in jail for raping his domestic help in 2009, will be...
We the affluent are ever ready, sitting on our well-padded mantles, to tell the lesser fortunate how they should spend their money. Given half a chance, we delight in taking to the pulpit to preach the merits of austerity, though we may not practice those in our own lives.