Maids made in India A video [ Parvati Bai series] in whats up followed by experiences shared by others has triggered the visualisation of this encounter.A well groomed maid rings the bell and tells the madam “I understand that you are looking for a maid.I am Nalini looking for a job between 10AM to 12 PM slot as a I am free during this time.Madam replies that she is also looking for a maid during this slot.Nalini asks whether she is looking for regular service,special service or executive service.Madam is nonplussed as this is first time she hears about different grades of service.To her question to enlighten her on the subject the maid explains: Regular service is just sweeping every day and mopping only on Fridays.Sho would also spend ten minutes on dusting.She would clean only one bathroom everday.In all she would spend 90 minutes and her expectation is around Rs 4000 per month.She will not come on Sundays and for any exra leave taken due to exi gencies, there should beno salary cut. On special service she explains that she would mop every alternate day,spend more time on dusting and clean three bathrooms every day.She would spend two hours and her expectation is RS 5000 per month. On executive service ,she would make the bed,mop every day,clean three bathrooms daily and the remaining two once a week and do a thorough dusting.Her expectation is Rs. Nine thousand nine hundred per month and she would spend around three hours every day.She throws a caveat that completion of the job mattered and not the time spent.This sends a chill in the spine of the madam.Madam says that she would think about her offer and let her know in a day or two.The maid says that she has a question-“Where is sir working?”Madam mentions the name of a leading Indian IT company.Oh –says the maid in a disappointed tone.Madam asks “what is the problem?”I have worked all these days with persons working in MNCS-there are so many advantages: They don’t come behind me when I am doing the job- there is very little cooking.They order breakfast and I get to eat,crisp sandwiches,Parathas,omelette,Burritos etc and not the boring idli,Dosa day after day.They are not petty minded and they don’t ask for accounts and change when I do grocery/vegetable shopping for them.They take me when they go on a holiday to look after their child and I enjoy five star comfort.The only disadvantage is that they have CCTV all over the house that I cant stretch myself on the bed or sofa.The message is clear on other expectations. Many educated girls today have entered the field of domestic help as they become independent,do jobs they like and they are not at the mercy of their employers and it is the other way round.In an upmarket complex in Bangalore where I live a smart maid makes around Rs15000-20000 a month with tea,food[warmed up in the microwave]and a months salary as bonus. At any point of time they owe Rs.30,000 to Rs 50000 as loan taken from different madams.This is their way of ensuring that they are not easily chucked out and for the employers to making sure that the maid will continue.This is a win win arrangement.The girls prefer this over super market jobs where the job is taxing and there is no human consideration. That is why you find a vacancy board for sales girls,helpers etc in almost every super market. They carry smart phones and have access to information on what is happening in the domestic worker front.Double income homes meekly submit to all the terms dictated by the maids as for them their only choice is between maid and Swiggy.or Dominos.Those who speak Hindi or English are in great demand as there is a mixed group of employers from different states. They don’t stand correction or criticism.When my neighbour pointed out some dirty spots after mopping,the maid walked out leaving a slip with her bank account details for transferring her salary.She got a job within an hour whereas,it took fifteen days for my neighbour to fix up a maid. Years back I hired a maid to look after my ailing wife.She came with a backpack,goggles and with fair display of jewellery.I was apprehensive about the maid but I was helpless.In the night I heated up,rice,sambar and vegetables in the microwave for her dinner but I could not heat up the rasam as I got a phone call.I gave her the rasam as it was.With contempt in her voice she said that did not take old Rasam.Adding insult to injury she said that maids may be poor but they make it a point to buy fresh vegetables everyday and eat piping hot food atleast once a day.”we are not accustomed to take purana food like you people-it is your fate”.I waited till morning and chucked her out. Borders between classes like where they sit and eat,the plates and glasses they use etc have disappeared.Deepika Mhatre,known for her stand up comedy on madams says”where I work,I am treated very specially.I have a separate lift for people like me,separate dishes for us eat in and yet at the end of the day Madam has to eat the same Roti which I make with my hands.How right she is and well said. “New middle class India has to come to grips with the expected new equation with domestic help.” Failure to recognise the change in our work and life and how to deal with them is wonderfully explained by Spencer Johnson in his book “who moved my cheese “though it has no direct connection with Maid made in India.