Saturday, November 11, 2006


We call her akka.
As I write this, I am trying to recollect her name. After a while I realized that I didn't know it because I haven't asked her that anytime. Oh man, our maid, she has been cleaning our house and washing our clothes for about six months now and still I haven't asked her name! On second thoughts, it shouldn't come as a surprise to me as I hardly know the name of our maid while I was at Mumbai and that too in spite of my stint of about two years there. Probably I wouldn't have asked her name too!
We called her baai.

When we came to Bangalore and got bumped into our current house, we were looking for a person who would keep our house nice and clean. We were more than happy when akka, who used to clean the house for its previous inhabitants, agreed to continue the post.

Akka, like many other akkas who work in various houses of the IT city Bangalore (Those who read this post after November 1st, read it as Bengaluru), is also from Tamil Nadu. Most of them have come to Bangalore for a living and usually go back to their native once or twice a year. Many of them have settled with family in one of those shady alleys of Bangalore. In semblance, bai like many other bais who work in various houses of the economic capital of India, Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay), comes from Bangladesh.

Many a times I have felt that they are the most underpaid group. I guess their wages range from 200 – 400 for a one bedroom house a month. Most of them work in four to six houses and earn around 1000 – 3000 bucks a month, well set to meet all the expenses of their families including food, clothes, children's education and all such. Sometimes I wonder how they manage it out in the costliest city of India! Hmmm… everyone is happy with their own means...