She is an inescapable part of the urban Indian’s life. She is, in general, underpaid in terms of just cash; but she gets her due in terms of other intangibles. Most people could not get through the day’s housework without her help. And (again this is a generalization) she is the strong bread-winner for the family, often managing a good-for-nothing, drunkard husband, trying to send the children to school, and trying to have a normal life as well…
Yes, often maids steal, are unreliable, and hold householders to ransom..but they are just often exploited, too. I must say, though, that in apartment buildings, there seems to be a good balance; our maids are often treated as part of our household.
This one was actually sweeping the road in front of her employer’s home! Surely a little above and beyond her usual duties….? I loved her bright saree, and when she looked at me photographing her, she gave me a sweet smile.