Sunday, 6 May 2012

one of the old ones

maid, nilu's home, bandra, mumbai, 6th may 2012

the maid, is my maid, nilu's maid. for a month. she does not speak english, i do not speak hindi. she is most of the time a bit grumpy looking, but probably just because she does not say anything, to me. so she looks and feels insecure. i guess.

i wash my own dishes, i make my own food. no, that is not true, she cooks it, i heat it up, in the microwave. sometimes i forget that she is around, sometimes she annoys because i do not forget. she stays there for 24 hours 7 days a week. except when she goes home, for a day or two. when she goes home, she always comes back late, one day, two days. she looks guilty, but she is not. nilu wished her to leave, the maid wished to leave. since 8 years, or so. but still they are together.

maids like that are hard to find. in mumbai you can earn much more money with just coming for one or two hours in the hours, per day. she cleans the apartment, feeds the parrot, wash the clothes. she stays during the night either in the spare room or in the living room.

my grandmother always tells me from the time when she was one, before she had her own one. she was a different one, in her parents place. a farm, had to get up in the morning, make breakfast for the workers, make some lunch. in between clean the house, the stalls for the animal, get the little pub ready for the customers. working day form 6 am till 2 am. no break. she still says now it was hard, no nostalgy involved.

laila has a maid. she came alone, than with her son. she is 29, exmarried, exhindi and loves chessy movies, or action with animals, or horror. at the moment she has a boyfriend, but she does not wanna get married. not now. she makes jokes, gossips a lot and has a bad sense of humor, talking with laila and her family. laila says that's not the usual thing to do. friends are always surprised seeing the relationship. she loves to stay in laila's place, laila says.

the maid business is a running out business. dying, says a friend. woman get better jobs in call centers, as a part time maid, just for a couple of hours. much better paid, just the ones stay who are payed well. accordingly to a 24h/7 days a week job i guess.

she does not like it when i am smoking. looks at me, stern face. i am just smiling. yesterday she cooked, i stood next to her it was lovely food. rice. i looked at it, held my belly. mh yammi, she laughed. i was pointing at the cooked fresh rice. she shaked her head. pointed to the rice from yesterday. i guess microwave again.

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