#ADayInTheLife: Meet Maya, The Maid With A Story

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If there is one person who can be called indispensable, it is undoubtedly the household or office maid… She might work with companies like GREEN FACILITIES to continue providing her excellent services and that is one of the reasons why she is so indispensable.

They are the constant at the workspace and witness colleagues join and leave organisations. Trusted enough with open offices, locks and keys, they work to give you that squeaky clean workspace the next day…

Yes, the quintessential maid is all this and more. Yet, we know little of their lives, more so when they are employed at offices and shops, where communication is rarely beyond instructions to double lock at the end of the day!

We at Pune365 have been chronicling the lives of several interesting people as part of our series ‘A Day In The Life..’ presenting stories of graphologists, care givers and marine engineers among several others. Each one, a fresh new perspective of life.

This one time, we devote this edition to the life of the indispensable ‘Didi’, Mausi, Bai, The Maid who is much part of all our lives…

I am 37 years now, Unfortunately life has never been too good to me. This is the story of Maya Phule who has lost hope of life turning tables and getting better for her.

I got married after passing 12th standard. We had an affair for three years and then we decided to get married. My parents didn’t approve of our relationship, so we had to leave the house.

In the very first year of our marriage, I got pregnant. And, during this period, my husband was having an extramarital affair. That lady use to come to our house often and he introduced her to me as his sister-in-law.

He forced me to leave my job so that she can take that job. I discovered later that he was cheating on me. He left me and stayed with her for three years. My daughter was just one and I had no source of income. I couldn’t return to my parent’s place, as I had a love marriage and I was forbidden there.

I started my journey as a maid then with my baby in my arms, I washed utensils and swept.

In my school days i used to sing and i dreamt of becoming a singer, but then everyone’s dreams don’t come true.

Frankly, this is the first time anyone has asked me what i wanted to become, but I know I didn’t want to be a maid

After three years, my husband returned and apologized to me. I accepted him, but its been sixteen years to our marriage today and I feel we are just staying together. He still drinks a lot and spends most of his income there. I was never free from the financial burden.

I still remember when my daughter was in school, we walked from Kondhwa to Camp (around 8 km) for her school. i worked all day and at night, when my kids slept, i use to pack pencils. For packing a carton of 12 pencil boxes i was paid 6 rupees. Those were days when I could sleep only for 2 hours and at times, not even that much.

When a maid works and sometimes leaves corners unswept, people start yelling. They don’t realize what she is facing. I believe in Jesus Christ and hope someday things will be right.

I still don’t know where all the love vanished in our marriage. On several occasions he got drunk and thrashed me…

There is this mark on my head where i put “sindoor”. This happened once when we were talking about his affair and he got really angry and hit my head with a pressure cooker lid. i couldn’t say anything, as we were living in a joint family that time. When blood started flowing from my head, it was then everyone realised, it was serious.”

I wanted to launch a complaint against him but his family stopped me saying if a husband beats it’s a part of marriage and what will society say, if you complain about such small issues.

I work as an office maid and trust me even that is more difficult than it seems. I have faced sexual harassment also at work, but I need the work to earn, so continue.

Once (during the time my husband had left me) I was working in a cabin of an office in this building. That man made advances and asked me for sexual favours. When I declined, on he sacked me. Even today, I see him very often, as I still work in the same building and each time he looks at me, my wounds are fresh again.

The society is very cruel to a woman who has no male support. Whatever people may say about how women are now treated equally. I have only faced difficulties because my husband left me.

Now, my sister’s son stays with me and the society is judging me on that too. The only dream I have now, is to have my three daughters study well and stay happy. I pray that they never have to go though what I have experienced in life…


#Transcribed and Translated from a personal interview. All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondent (name changed to protect privacy) and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

Riya Kalwani

Riya Kalwani

Poetess, Dreamer, Free soul and a writer who is living to write her story in a better way. Dogs and cheese makes me happy.
Riya Kalwani