The Urban Indian housemaids: An indispensable army.If your mental image of a servant is a quiet lady with a broom in hand, please dispel such thoughts and images. For those of us who are in the metros with popular apartments and good neighborhoods, have you tried getting a helping hand to your home? It's very difficult as there is a great demand for housemaids. Gone are the days wherein one maid would do everything for our mothers.
The current generation has strict times and have become specialists in their own areas.
There's is a maid in the morning who comes only to chop and dice vegetables, one maid who just makes chapathis for around 20 minutes before she rushes off. There's one maid to clean the floors and the kitchen vessels.
Even more interesting is the presence of maid for just filling up children's lunch boxes and later on double up as a childminder for the toddler at home who leaves once they ready the older kids after snacks and off to tuitions by which time the working mother is back. There's another group of maids who work at a leisurely pace as they double up as a cook and a part-time caretaker for the elderly people who live alone with their children working abroad.
Even appointing one is difficult, we have to go through an agency or get our neighbor's maid to find someone for us and then come with a recommendation that this household is good to work with and not the other way around. Salaries are more or less on fixed slabs within an apartment complex and most need a month's advance.
If you are not happy with the quality of work, please think twice before taking it up with the maidservant because if you do, you'll find other maids joining hands or a call next day from security desk telling, sir, your maid is not going to work for you, she wants her salary to be sent down, she's waiting here.
Welcome to the world of the new Urban Indian housemaids who have become an integral part of the lives of a nuclear family, working couples and retired senior citizens.