It was in the fourth month into the pandemic that my maid told she would be taking an indefinite leave since conditions at her house weren’t great. I began my hunting for someone who could take up her place. Soon enough through a reference I found a woman in her late twenties who was willing to work at my place six days a week.

From the moment she began her work, I noticed that there was something different about her. She would come right on time, do her work diligently and quietly. Her manners were refined, her work was done with a sense of care and she bore an expression of melancholy. She was here but not here. A major festival came by and I asked her if she wanted some bonus money for her family. She refused saying it was nice of me to ask but she doesn’t need it.

After a few months I was happy with her work and fearing that I may lose, I asked her if she wanted a raise. In her usual mild manners she refused. Not managing to wrap my brains around that, I asked her if everything was alright. She paused for a moment and then replied:

“Sir, I am actually not a maid. I was earlier working in a jewellery shop. I lost my job during the pandemic but I was afraid to inform my husband and family members. That’s why I wake up every day, dress up the way I used to dress up in my previous job. I work with the same care as I would when handling jewellery and talk to you the way I would speak to my boss. I am not so much concerned about the money as I would be doing this work only for a short while until things return to normal. All I ask is that you allow me to spend my time here and give me the same salary I was earlier receiving.”

I smiled and realized that this short period of Covid Pandemic has changed the lives of everyone. Each person has a story to tell and experience to share – only if we ask.