When living in urban-India, if you do not have 2 or more maids working in your household, then you’re probably having financial issues – This is the general Delhi-mindset. Working woman, working in corporate, have kids at home, you ought to have a cook and a cleaning help. Sometimes, a full-time help taking care of the kids and general dusting. This has become a social norm.
I’ve belonged to the same category, ever since I started living separately from my parents.
But, recently, I moved into my new home. As fate would have it, my cook bailed out, and I didn’t get anyone for dusting either. Now, let me tell you, it all was only a phone call away. I just need to call the society guard and I would have a queue of maids ready to take the job at my doorstep. Somehow, my intuition kept telling me otherwise and I did not make the call.
It’s been two months now since my cook had to leave urgently for her hometown. And, I’ve been cooking ever since. Preparing two meals, sometimes three, every day, is no easy task. There were days when I returned home so exhausted, I didn’t have the energy to even prepare rotis. (The veggies I cook in the morning itself.)
And, cooking is not all that’s to be done at home. Clothes, general cleaning, stocking up your house, dusting, the list is long. Plus, the unpacking of the boxes in shifting. I can keep writing and will never finish.
So, why did I do it?
1. In a new house, unless you work yourself in the kitchen, you can never get it set the way you want. You need to use it to make it functional.
2. With a cook taking care of my kitchen for almost 2yrs now, I wanted to take control of my kitchen again. See if doing things myself made any difference.
3. The cook was very good. I wanted to wait for her than let a stranger enter my house and teach her.
So, that’s how the two months of cooking, cleaning, owning my house started.
And, as unbelievable as it sounds, even to me, I’ve enjoyed this. The feeling of contributing to the general care of your house is amazing. To see your child say ‘yummy’ to food you cooked, you have another level of satisfaction. To see your husband’s appetite go up, you know this is making a difference. The wastage in my kitchen has significantly reduced. The general hygiene that I can take care of, no employee can. Cleaning the glass doors and see them gleam, to find your body toning just with that physical exercise, you are surprised! It shouldn’t, but it does.
Today, I and Anay cleaned all our house glass-doors. I’m tired and exhausted. The job wasn’t completely perfect either. We need some improvements in the steps we took. But, the whole activity was satisfying and enjoyable beyond measure. To see your child learning that not everything needs to be outsourced and house work can be done yourself, its deeply satisfying. Reminds me of how I used to see my Mom and Dad do stuff. Nothing was what they couldn’t do.
I don’t know how long I’ll be able to continue this. My exercise and yoga has stopped because my time is all taken now. The time I and Tarun spent walking, talking, is now gone taking care of the house. So, probably I’ll need to get the maid back.
But, I enjoyed this. I hope I’m able to find a balance.