Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
So the doorbell rings and it’s the cook. She walks into the kitchen and asks what I’d like today. I tell her, and then ask, ‘How’s your daughter?’ She hadn’t come yesterday because her daughter had a fall.
‘She’s not conscious yet,’ she says. ‘She’s got a swelling in her brain.’
‘What? She’s in hospital?’
‘Yes, but the doctor says that if she isn’t conscious by this evening, she’ll have to be shifted to another hospital. Chicken or mutton?’
Her tone is perfectly normal, like she’s telling me about her daughter’s school results or something. You’d never guess there was something wrong.
And that’s the life. Another maid, her husband was a drunkard who beat her everyday. You’d never guess there was something wrong.
We’re spoilt, and weak, the urban elite with household help. When life knocks us down we won’t have the fight in us. If someone close to me was unconscious with a swelling in her brain, I’d show it.
‘Chicken or mutton?’
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