My maid passed away just after I left Mauritius for the London Book Fair 2016

 There is a line, though not a straight one, between the people who serve us and the success of our career.

 How much they contribute by their service cannot be grossly overestimated.

The adage ‘the servant is the master of the house’ suddenly found its meaning under my bewildered eyes when I opened the main entrance door of my domicile.

 Heavy festoons of cobweb, rat pooh littered like black seeds of grapes on the floor layered with a carpet of thick dust greeted me.

I breathed in the foul smell of decayed garbage and dead bodies of rats putrefying under the teak furniture.

My nostrils and my throat smarted. I turned back. I rushed out for a breath of fresh air.

 Rats were her nightmares.

She laid traps for them.

Death laid a trap for her when an oncoming car knocked her down on the road.

 Ironically, Buddha says: Life is a wheel.

In the olden days, to keep them subservient, house maids were not allowed to use their minds creatively. My maid, a stout Creole woman in her forties, had a good education and she followed a course in housekeeping. She ran my house as her own. I was totally lost without her. She was the mistress of the house. My sense of humanity allowed this.

Anita Bacha