Tasnia Khandaker Prova recently won the Muslim World Today’s International Women’s Day writing competition with her story “A Woman Otherwordly”. This beautifully written story provides a commentary on the treatment of domestic help.
Her mornings always started earlier than mine – not because she liked watching the sun rise, bringing with it a new day and a much needed new beginning; her beginnings hadn’t seen change for a while and I have seen far too much of this cruel world to believe that her change was around the corner. It wasn’t.
She woke up not for her own, but my needs. I was more important than her – the notion etched in her brain since the day she saw me. She cooked my meals to perfection, ironed my clothes till creases on her hands became the standard, yet my attire parading a crinkle or two became atypical.
The list of her chores were endless, but her smile knew no defeat. It won. It conquered. It overwhelmed even the bitterest of souls. She was happy with her lot, while I struggled to see miracles in mine.
A housekeeper, they call her. Someone whose social status deemed far below mine, but to those with faith, you could envision her prancing in a mansion designed by God himself, in a life hereafter.
For Zulekha doesn’t only possess kindness.
Kindness is her, and it is honoured to be.
Written by Tasnia Khandaker Prova, Bangladesh, Global UGRAD 2016-17 at Montclair State University