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Diwali, From The POV Of An Indian Domestic Help, A Working Woman Too…

Diwali, with all the celebrations, is a much looked forward to festival. But how does Diwali look from the POV of the women who clean our homes and do our mundane chores?

Diwali, with all the celebrations, is a much looked forward to festival. But how does Diwali look from the POV of the women who clean our homes and do our mundane chores?

Maya got up early in the morning, and cooked food for her kids and hus

band. Packed the boxes and school bags for her children. Her husband would later wake them up and get them ready for school. She kissed the sleeping kids and left for work.

She worked in the society two kilometers away from where she lived.

Shikha madam would get very angry even if she was five minutes late. She would always say, “Time is important; if you don’t value time, you will never come up.” Maya never understood, how will she come up? There is no promotion for a maid.

Maya always dreaded and looked forward to the months of October and November.

She dreaded these months because of the Diwali cleaning that happens at every house. Shikha madam would give instructions about how much work should be done for the day. She would get very angry if all the work for the day was not done according to her plan. Maya tried telling her that this is not office work, and sometimes it can’t happen according to the plan, but Shikha, the vice president of an MNC would never understand.

Komal madam was very good but her mother-in-law was really a monster. She would make Maya clean the same place twice just to trouble her daughter in law and Maya, who work together to clean the house for Diwali.

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Deepa madam had some problem, she keeps cleaning the same place again and again. She doesn’t like even a speck of dust. During Diwali, she becomes unbearable. She makes Maya clean and dust the same place at least five times.

Vani madam wants the house to be cleaned but she doesn’t like it if Maya uses a lot of soap or detergent. She is a miser. She does not even give the Diwali bonus.

The festival of Diwali really makes Maya really tired, she has to do double the work. But she looks forward to the festival because all the ladies give away a lot of unwanted stuff, for them, after cleaning the house. She gets a bonus too. She also gets sweets and crackers from Shikha madam.

She forgets all her pain when she sees her kids in new clothes, bursting the crackers and enjoying themselves.

She eagerly waits for next Diwali so she can see this happiness again.

A version of this was first published here.

Image source: a still from Nil Battey Sannata

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