The Help
This story has been previously published on our blog and is being shared again today for the #1000 speak initiative. Another contribution towards the 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion initiative, another story that talks about elimination of discrimination and making the world a more equal place for all. That is the greatest learning and gift we can give to the younger generations. Compassion is in treating everyone equal. 

I could not come up with a better title for this post than borrowing it from the movie that I have watched many times over. Strangely enough, I relate to it because in the course of viewing, I find a similarity in how ‘The Help’ was and is still treated in India, the country I grew up. If in the US it was about color, in India it was caste or poverty that drew the subtle line, a line that could not be crossed or erased. 

The movie reminds me of the help at my grandmother’s house.  I am told she cared for me when I was an infant. She would sit in the courtyard and give me my oil massages, bathe me and help my mum look after me. I have vivid memories of her fondness for me when I was a little girl. She looked too old to be working, but she still did. She talked a lot, in fact all the time. She was petite and had a little hunch in her back.

She came to work rain or sunshine. Everyone in the house was extremely fond of her. They not only listened to her but were quite generous and caring towards her. She was well looked after and this was extended to her unemployed husband and a young non-aspirant son.

But as a little girl, I could never understand why she had her own stack of dishes and glasses. Why she ate only in those dishes and drank only in those designated glasses. She ate the same meal that we ate but in the courtyard by herself. She always sat on the floor. A subtle line she never crossed and no one tried to erase. By the time I was old enough to understand that she was no more.

You can shy away and tell me you have never seen this happening ever. But these norms still exist in certain parts of the world. Is it pure societal pressure that we do not want to break out of? Why separate dishes, why designated seating arrangements or why separate bathrooms (No, please don’t raise an eyebrow. This isn’t alien).  What will happen if they eat out of the same dishes or sat on our bed/couch or use our bathrooms?

Isn’t it time we broke these meaningless barriers and made the world a more equal place for our children, for the future generations? I am glad I have done my bit. While I write this from my kitchen counter, my help is working with me for the dinner tonight. Our children (her’s and mine) are playing chutes and ladder in the kid’s room. They are all eating popcorn from one big bowl. They are all sitting together on the kid’s bed. My children have been taught to treat Didi (as they call my Help) and her children as one of our family members. My Corelle’s and China’s are used by one and all. 

How is it at your home ? We hope your fancy chinaware is used by one and all. 


Chatoveracuppa is thankful to the author of this story, one of our regular storytellers, for sharing such a personal experience with us.