She is shy. She never looks me in the eye when she talks, but neither does she look away either, just tilts her head to one side, looks down, then up and asks some oblique question. Often when I addressed her, asking her to do something, she’d nod silently in a way that made me doubt my request had registered, but it would be done without a fuss. And it took a year for me to understand how much she processed in her mind, without articulating, or letting you know what she is feeling.
The other day, when reprimanded for taking too much time off from work, she revealed she had been sick for the better part of the month, but had come to work nonetheless. I felt guilty; knowing her temperament I should have realised there would be good reason. It was about ten days later that I was apprised of what was troubling her when she said “mera pati mujhe pareshan kar raha hai, vo kehta hai ke naukri chod do, kisi ne shikayat ki hai, ke mein aur mardon se zyada baatein karne lagi hu![i]”He had apparently been pestering her for a while and she could not deal with the tension anymore.