‘Everybody Knows’ by Anisha Sridhar

Still staying with household matters, let’s end on a relatively lighter note (not in terms of theme but in terms of narrative style.) Here’s a story about the service people who do or support all the household work in India. Published during the 2020 pandemic, this is about what happens to that entire household labor economy when the upper classes decide to take care of themselves without any consideration for how daily wage earners will fare. And especially at a time when the latter are even more vulnerable. In India, this service class, from maids to delivery people to drivers and more, is the backbone of the country’s urban economy and has suffered the most. Sridhar’s satirical take here has plenty of bite. If only the people who need to read and understand it the most would find the time to do so instead of looking at blue skies and blooming flowers and the stars while congratulating themselves for being good citizens by wearing masks and practicing social distance.

First published in Infection House, August 2020 and available to read here