Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas 2015: This woman from Borivali celebrates by helping her maid set up her own business

Sumi has set up a small stall near a grocery store in IC Colony.
  • Sumi with her Marzipan packets at Cassandra's residence. Sumi with her Marzipan packets at Cassandra's residence. Aparna Shukla Team iamin
Borivali’s IC Colony resident Cassandra Nazareth, as part of her Christmascelebration, has helped her maid Sumi Hemrom, become an independent woman.
Nazareth helped her set up a cookingbusiness during Christmas. Sumi sells Marzipans, Potato Chops, barbequed chicken and much more. A relation that is 16-years-old, is close to Cassandra’s heart. She can't hold back tears, as she speaks of Sumi. As a working professional herself, Cassandra has helped Sumi bring out the cook in her. "She had just come back from West Bengal when I got her home. She was very shy in the beginning but was very honest. Somebody I could trust my children with. They were very young and I had to work. She was a great support then," says Cassandra, who taught Sumi the art that business is.
From structuring the business idea to packaging, taking orders and cooking, Cassandra has been Sumi’s role model. "I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am to ma’am. I didn't have anything when I came here. Zero! But she took me in like a sister, trusted me. Who does that these days? She not just provided for me financially whenever I needed but was always there for me emotionally. I owe her everything that I have today," says a teary-eyed Sumi, who with Cassandra's help has been able to have some land for her own, back in her village, where she initially had nothing.
Sumi has set up a small stall near a grocery store in IC Colony and with word of mouth and through people who see her on the road, she has been able to have a good business. "Madam’s mother is a great cook. She and I go along very well. I never want to leave these people. They are my world now," Sumi says.
After Cassandra suggested that Sumi alone be interviewed for this piece, it was a heart-warming sight that both the women couldn’t hold back their tears.
"One day my children came home and I, for fun told them that Sumi has gone back to West Bengal as we had an argument. My children first searched the entire house, then had a discussion among them and said, 'she will never go without saying bye to us’. That just melted my heart. That's the kind of relationship we share. I'm not going to be there forever. I'm doing this so she can stand on her own feet," says Cassandra.
 The article was originally published on

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