If we take time for a deep thought, we know, domestic help, simply means help, aid, assistance, favour in the domestic, household front. But, for this favour that they do us, we ridicule them and make them and their loved ones (younger siblings, sons and daughters) feel inferior.
Her day starts at about 5a.m., making breakfast and an advanced lunch, for her family.
This includes, her husband, who has a shop that mends punctures, is, thankfully, helpful to the family. She has two children, a son, doing his first year and a daughter, studying in Class 4.
After this, her job takes over.
She cooks, washes vessels and sweeps in a better-off household, before coming back home to have her breakfast and clean herself up. She then makes another trip, to a few more households, this is to only wash vessels and sweep the house.
She is a sincere and hardworking woman. In many of these households, she works only after the owners have left for their jobs. Even though, in most urban and semi-urban areas, people think twice to let carpenters, plumbers, domestic help and the likes, unwatched even for a second, this lady has made it known that such hawk-like vision is unnecessary and that people belonging lower social strata, need not be mistrusted.
At about 2.30p.m., with her job behind her, for the day, she heads back to her house. She has her lunch and does the same things once again, this time for her own household. Washing vessels, sweeping, washing clothes, drying them and folding them.
Through all this, she makes time for her husband and children, who come home at this time. She knows her son’s examination scores and her daughters test dates. She’s an updated mother.
On the other side of the spectrum, she is a mother, a wife, a woman. She has needs. She has thoughts. Opinions. Hopes. Cravings. Promises to keep. Festivals to celebrate. Contemplations to deal with. Hardships. Pain. Stories untold. She is also a human. Just like we are. (Maybe, even better.)
The problem is that we fail to see it that way. We fail to take notice of the other sides. We get stuck with the single story.
After all her household chores, she makes dinner for her family following which they, like everybody else, have food together.
Her day ends with her family, the people she loves the most.
No amount of money or pity can cover that.
By Amirtha Varshini