Sunday, October 6, 2013


{didi}SISTER in Hindi

Every day my housekeeper walks in the door and every time she leaves, or asks me what I would like to eat, a word resounds before each sentence: "Didi..." And this continues when I enter the office (and when I leave), with friendly office assistants always greeting me "Namaste Didi!" Not to mention the guard downstairs, the guy who irons peoples clothes all day or the fragile elderly man who scrubs bathrooms until they are sparkling clean. They are never found without a kind gesture, always welcoming... always!

Stuff like this makes me smile.

Sometimes I like to walk around just to see these selfless faces, just to hear a sincere " Good morning " 'cause then I feel like my day is made. It's moments like these that make me look back and think to myself, how lovely to feel like I am welcomed, that I belong somewhere.

The irony of it all is that these wonderful people are those that are seen as lower in society and strata; they are the ones who serve for a living. They do very humbling jobs that I doubt they are satisfied with. One could surely see the struggle in their eyes, the longing to be looked upon, in some way or the other. And I feel that as they they serve, they are not lower or last but first. They are what makes the the society a community; the house a home.

There is a sense of freedom in being called such a dear name, "Didi" with no special demands or strings attached. There is a sence of pure acceptance by mere strangers who ironically make you feel like you are their own even though it is they who want to belong. There is a warmth about it. There is a peace that one can't explain.

Having said all of this, I must also say that my house keeper isn't necessarily my favourite person. She happens to the keeper of my home yet at times her live of poverty pushes her to do things that are not pleasing. Often I come back from work with a heaviness of having to face her jarring comments simply because she is in need. Sometimes, she even assumes the worst of me because she is so blinded by her indispensable necessities; her desperation. Yet in all this she calls me sister. Knowing this, I put aside my revolt towards her actions and simply tell myself, be the person she calls you.

And so, perhaps the point of this post is this: You feel at home with the people you least expect. These people not only make you feel that you are part of this strange universe, but part of their world too. And then there are those who need you to be their family. They simply need you to be who they call you to be.

Didi :)