The India of the 1950s and ’60s, economic aspirations were shackled to social class. The sons and daughters of domestic help became domestic help. One such person was my favorite fellow who worked in our household. He was illiterate. My mother attempted to teach him to read and write. When I was about five or six, he left our employ. He returned about a year or two later to visit. I was overjoyed. He told us that he’d learned to read and write in Bengali and was working at the Calcutta docks as a stevedore, loading and unloading cargo ships. The next time he visited, perhaps another year later, he told us that he was managing a group of cargo handlers. He’d advanced. He was literate. He had broken the chain of domestic work. He brought me sweets. I didn’t realize how significant a moment that was. He’d succeeded in achieving what he aspired to, however, small.