Servant Quarter

here you go // yeh lo

a room for two (or more)

an entire family, perhaps
(if i’m feeling generous)

detached, distanced and disparaged 

just like our relationship – unseen

the way our society calls for it to be.

you will take care of my children,

maybe even more so than the woman who bore them

while she is preoccupied with her tailor

our dinner parties, and other unnecessary chores:

you will be the one wiping shit off of our children’s bodies

as if they were your own.

you will hear the bell of the intercom

at four in the morning

my voice, husky and disoriented

demanding you for my sehri

but you are not of the same faith as we –

so why make you suffer, alongside my family?

you must not be seen for long periods of time

when others are nearby,

log kya sochain gay?’ is what the madam will always say

when our children will look to you for care

and you remain submissive and complacent,

to pay for your father’s hospital bills

with your inherent lack of formal education.

with time, my children will learn to speak to you

the way i do,

angrily and annoyed at your humanness

that when you finally break down and cry:

chup ho jao! or i will decrease your wages

(that were already lower than your worth).

and no matter how much you put on the line

at the end of it all,

i am too privileged to ever know what poverty feels like.

you were never mine
(even though i treat you like my property)

and you will forever remain

a maid, an aaya and a servant in my mind.

“the only shaytaan that exists this ramzan, is I.”

art: unknown (if you know who the artist is, please let me know).