Our maid is one of the most inspirational figures i'm aware of. Not only is she really hardworking but also someone who personifies integrity. The best part being she doesn't pretend. She just is what she is. She doesn't talk much, not because she is a snob but because she is low on vocabulary. Once she found a ₹500 rupee note in the pocket of my jeans while washing them but she wasn't remotely tempted to keep it to herself. What's more endearing is the fact she didn't even try to showcase her honesty by handing the money back. She simply left the note to dry on the commode lid. There are several such incidents that makes me want to hug her. I call her didi but she could very well be my mother in an alternate universe. Her frail outlook belies the dedication she shows towards her domestic responsibilities. If i had even half of her focus, i'd have written several books (instead of wasting my thoughts on Twitter) by now. Anyway, the point of this blog post was to highlight a recent incident. She had taken a leave and then returned the next day with a bruise on her face. To be honest, i didn't notice it at first. Her tanned complexion did a pretty good job of hiding the sign of violence. It was pretty obvious somebody has punched her. She even required a stitch on left eyebrow and there was no way in hell that she "stumbled in my kitchen while cooking"—something she wanted me to believe. She said she went to doctor for suture and was taking medicines too. But here's the thing: the voice of a dignified person changes when they lie. From the way she informed us (my wife was present too) about what happened, we figured out that her husband was abusive. I applied this oil my amma had given me on her affected face and poured some into a container for her to apply later. After she left, my wife and i were contemplating all the things we can do to assuage her situation. Most of our words were based on assumptions. We don't know whether she genuinely slipped in her kitchen. We don't know for sure that her husband had struck her. What we know is that our society and the system in place doesn't favour her. If we go ahead and placed a complaint on her behalf, the police won't support us. They'd want the victim to make a statement; we are sure didi won't do that. Her background doesn't allow her to stand up against her husband. After all, she can't jeopardize her kids by trying to be the hero here. It's very easy for us—the privileged lot—to see things in black and white. Why can't she just leave her husband and live independently? Well, she can't. What will happen next? The burden of past is too much on the present to trust the future. She is caught in a mesh that hinges on hope more than anything else. A hope that better results might come out of tomorrow if she works harder today. As for me and my wife, we are in a position to extend empathy and monetary support but at the end of the day, we can't let her bear the brunt of societal norms for the sake of feeling better about ourselves.