Masi Fateh Be started working as a house maid in our house in 1994. My youngest sister, now a student of third year in a medical college, had just born when Masi joined us. She worked for almost two decades in our house. She was more like a family member. We would call her Masi (aunt) or Masi Fateh Be. We would sometimes call her Aunty
In those twenty years, no coin was found missing, jewellery remained untouched, no food was stolen. Such was her level of honesty. Masi lived near our house. She was a poor relative of a family friend, who recommended her name to my mother. Masi had a son and a daughter. Despite having a growing daughter, Masi was never tempted to steal even a hair pin from our house. My mother paid her in time and also supplemented the salary with seasonal clothes and cash bonuses on festivals.
Little was known about Masi’s husband. When we were young, we only knew that he was a wanderer who passed his time on tombs and shrines. He would desert Masi for months. One such desertion was so long that Masi had all the reasons to believe that he had died. Masi borrowed money from my mother and arranged for her husband’s Qul. She bought clothes for the local Maulvi and also donated some money to the mullah so that he prays for the departed soul of her husband. After just two months of the Qul ritual, her husband reappeared in her life.
The next desertion was so long that Masi forgot her husband’s earlier desertion, Qul and reappearance; and again spent a good deal of money on the second Qul. Masi’s husband again reappeared. After that Masi never bothered to arrange for the eternal peace of her ‘departed’ husband.
When Masi became too old to work, my mother retired her with a monthly pension of half of her pay. Masi would also get seasonal clothes and cash money on festivals.
My mother promised her gold earings on my wedding. She was offered to take the gold jewellery or its equivalent price. Masi preferred bling bling.
She remained loyal to our family through our good times and bad times. She breathed her last a week before this Eid. Everyone in the house was sad. My aunts, who live abroad, called my mother and offered their condolences. Masi is survived by her son, a barber with a large number of kids and her daughter with two kids.