What is the importance of domestic help in daily life? After moving to the UK, I never had to get a domestic help, albeit the kind which would come in for a few hours during the weekend to clean up the house. It is easier to keep the homes clean in this part of the world when compared to India. As I have been living here for the past few years, I have forgotten about the scene in India. Hence it came up as a surprise when a recent conversation with a colleague turned to domestic help.
My colleague has grown up kids who live in India. They are younger than the millennials, and I know the brother-sister duo stays in a palatial house in the garden city of Bengaluru. How did they upkeep the home? They may be old enough to run a house, but still, they are never old enough for us. Hence I blurted out this question. My colleague has four different domestic help coming to her home for four different purposes. Laundry, gardening, cooking and cleaning up the house. On hearing this, I took a long pause. My colleague finally told me how much she pays in total. It was value for money in the grand scheme of things.
Yesterday, I took a short break at my friend's place while on my way to pay a visit to a customer. The idea was to have dinner at my friend's home. This short break was a lesson on how vital domestic help is. Whenever I land there, there is a lot of food and conversation. As a result, I inevitably become late and has to drive another two hours fighting the urge to sleep. Both of them, my friend and his wife, are working, and so I also didn't want to stay for long, fearing I would disrupt their rest cycle. They had ordered in food, and there was also a delicious pork dish that was prepared at home. All through the dinner, the couple was slightly tensed. Then, the phone rang. While talking on the phone, my friend gave a thumbs-up to his wife, and both their faces lit up. The call was from their domestic help, and she was coming tomorrow. That news was a happy one.
Photo Courtesy: Spyros Papaspyropoulos