1. The 1956 film was based on the novel Aparajito (1931) by Bibhuti Bhushan Bandopadhyay.
2. “Mukhujje-ginni: Do you have anyone where you come from?
“Sarbajaya: I have no one.
“Mukhujje-ginni: Then there is no problem, you may as well come with us.”
Satyajit Ray, The Apu Trilogy, 76.
4. Sarkar, Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation; Davidoff, Worlds Between.
5. We emphasize here that this claim is not restricted to India but encompasses societies in which keeping servants has been significant over the longue durée. Indeed, as Carolyn Steedman shows, the great legal scholars of late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England were well aware that the relationship between master and servant was of central importance. Steedman quotes Sir William Blackstone as asserting that the contract between employer and servant embodied the first of the three great relations of private life—the other two being between wife and husband and between parent and child. Most important, he claimed that the other two relationships were founded on this primary one. See Steedman, “Servant's Labour,” 8. On the importance of the institution of domestic servitude for understanding the logic of European household formation, see Laslett, World We Have Lost, and Laslett and Wall, Household and Family.
6. As scholarship on servants in early modern Europe and colonial India indicates, servanthood could be considered an occupation, a stage in the life cycle, and a social condition; moreover, Raffaella Sarti notes that “the history of domestic service is (partially) intertwined with the history of slavery,” making definitions of servants,